Rockefeller Group Sells 1.5 MSF General Mills Distribution Center in Atlanta

The Rockefeller Group Development Corp. has sold the 1.5 million-square-foot General Mills Distribution Center in Social Circle, Ga., to Welsh Property Trust.

General Mills distribution center

The Rockefeller Group Development Corp., in conjunction with Reus GM Inc., has sold the General Mills Distribution Center in Social Circle, Ga.

Although the price tag was not disclosed, CoStar reported that the 1.5 million-square-foot Class A+distribution facility sold for $51.5 million, or $34 p/ square foot, to Welsh Property Trust, a Minnetoka, Minn-based real estate investment company with sizable holdings in significant industrial markets throughout the country.

The industrial facility is fully leased to General Mills and located at 1871 Willow Springs Church Road, the I-20 industrial corridor, 50 miles east of Atlanta, according to The Rockefeller Group’s website.

Cushman & Wakefield brokered the sale. The company team included Executive Director Stewart Calhoun, Executive Director David Meline, Director Samir Idris and Director Casey Masters in Atlanta. The real estate services firm declined to comment further on the transaction.

Rockefeller Group Development built the facility in 2010 as a build-to-suit for General Mills. The cross-dock property includes 32-foot clear heights, T-5 lighting, concrete truck courts and onsite trailer storage. It is also the largest industrial building in the U.S. to earn LEED Gold certification, and the second largest LEED Gold cerified industrial building in the world. It handles 167 trucks per day, 5,000 per month, to support the Southeast distribution operations of the company, which operates in more than 100 countries and markets to more than 100 consumer brands.

RGDC built the facility on a 130-acre site on East Hightower Trail, which is served by Georgia Railroad and CSX Intermodal, making the location ideal for distribution. The building is 2,322 feet long, almost a half mile, with eight rail doors alongside the railroad and storage capacity for 500 trailers. According to real estate research firm PPR, the facility is the largest build-to-suit distribution center begun in 2009. It includes more than 25,000 square feet of office space to accommodate administrative operations for the site, according to RGDC’s website.

The seller decided it was time to redeploy its assets. The company chose Welsh Property Trust because it’s a well-regarded buyer in the market today,with a solid track record of closing deals,  for credit-lease industrial properties, which fit Welsh’s investment profile, according to a source involved in the deal who asked to remain unnamed.

General Mills leased the building for an initial term of 10 years, with about 6.1 years remaining on the lease term. After 10 years, the ground lease with Walton County will be turned over to the building owner, according to CoStar.