PNK Group Breaks Ground on Atlanta-Area Distribution Center

The Moscow-based industrial facilities developer has commenced construction of the first building at Southern Gateway at Lambert Farms, a master-planned industrial park in McDonough, Ga. The facility will offer 1.1 million square feet at what will ultimately be a 3 million-square-foot complex.
Southern Gateway at Lambert Farms, McDonough, Ga.
Rendering of Southern Gateway at Lambert Farms, McDonough, Ga.

In McDonough, Ga., Moscow-based PNK Group has kicked off construction of the first building at Southern Gateway at Lambert Farms, a 3 million-square-foot speculative industrial park. News of the groundbreaking on the initial structure, a 1.1 million square-foot distribution facility, comes six months after PNK Group announced it had chosen the Atlanta area to build its second U.S. property.  

“PNK may be seen as the ‘new kid in town’ by some, but their incredible track record in Europe and Russia building the highest quality facilities for the world’s top companies will be reflected in this and in future developments here,” Pat Murphy, managing director with commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, told Commercial Property Executive. Cushman & Wakefield has been charged with overseeing leasing activity at the 260-acre master-planned park, which is located in Atlanta’s Logistics Corridor.

Southern Gateway’s first structure, Building B, will be a cross-dock facility available for single tenancy or divisible by 550,000 square feet. Employees at the Macgregor Associates Architects-designed building will ultimately be able to avail themselves of a host of high-end comforts and conveniences that PNK is planning for the labor-focused development. The list of amenities, more common to premier office properties than industrial parks, includes an approximately one-mile landscaped walking trail, a food-truck court featuring recreational amenities and electric vehicle charging stations. They’re the not-so-little extras that an increasing number of employers are seeking, and developers are obliging.

“A key part of any major company’s logistics strategy is locating and retaining a qualified workforce. One way the developer can assist his client, the user, is to provide an atmosphere where employees enjoy coming to and are proud to be associated with,” Murphy said. “So, these amenities help our future tenants with one of their most pressing issues.”

With Pattillo Construction Corp. aboard as general contractor, Southern Gateway’s Building B is on schedule to reach completion in 2019. It will be a welcome addition to the local market, as metropolitan Atlanta has a certain allure for industrial users these days. Per a Cushman & Wakefield report, despite record warehouse/distribution construction completions in 2017, vacancies for the product dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter to an enviable 7.7 percent. “As e-commerce becomes the retailers for the next generation, they require efficient, modern space to store and distribute products to major population centers. And with Atlanta’s growth, many of these companies need to be here,” Murphy added.

All eyes on U.S. industrial

PNK Group is just one of a rising number of foreign investors that are more than a little fond of the U.S. industrial market. “With the growth of on-line shopping, foreign investors continue to rank industrial/logistics properties as their number one investment opportunity,” Jim Fetgatter, chief executive of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, said in a prepared statement on the association’s 2018 investment survey.

The U.S. industrial sector has experienced quite a turnaround in the eyes of foreign investors over the last few years. After ranking the lowest among the five leading property types in 2010, the sector moved up to the top spot in 2013, per the AFIRE study, and has stayed there every year since, with 2014 being the only exception.

 Image courtesy of PNK Group