Rubbermaid to Build 800,000SF Distribution Center in Atlanta

International consumer and commercial products marketer Newell Rubbermaid Inc. has just revealed that it will develop a new distribution facility in the Atlanta area, where it has maintained its headquarters for the last five years. Development of the 800,000-square-foot center is part of the company’s global strategy for consolidating operations and reducing its portfolio of properties.  The new distribution center will sit in Union City, about 15 miles from Downtown Atlanta. With the completion of construction, Rubbermaid will be able to distribute more than one product brand from a single location. The project dovetails with the company’s goal of moving away from single-brand distribution centers to multi-brand facilities; when the Union City property comes online Rubbermaid will have a total of five such new facilities. The company’s global conversion activities have resulted in the condensation of its group of facilities from 96 to less than 80. Plans over the next two years will ultimately decrease the number of distribution centers to approximately 50.  In addition to the new distribution center, Rubbermaid is in the process of solidifying its commitment to Metropolitan Atlanta with the development of a new headquarters campus. Last year the company signed a long-term lease to occupy an entire 355,000-square-foot Sandy Springs office building that is currently being developed for $100 million. The new office tower will allow the company to merge three area offices under one roof.  Given the competition for sizeable contiguous amounts of both industrial and office space in greater Atlanta, Rubbermaid’s decision to build new properties would seem to make sense. Despite the city’s continued popularity among big-box retailers, the development of new industrial properties has leveled off due to high construction costs, according to a third quarter report from real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis Co. New large industrial facilities, such as First Industrial Realty Trust’s 585,000-square foot building at its Termminus West Business Park, often deliver fully pre-leased. In the office sector, large new properties continue to come to the market, but rental rates are soaring.