Not only is Ashley Capital’s roughly 769,000-square-foot spec building project in Adairsville rapidly approaching completion, the New York-based real estate investment firm is also expanding its footprint near the Georgia North industrial park in northern Bartow.
“We are tilting the concrete panels on the building now,” said Ashley Capital Vice President Tim Schneider. “A tremendous amount of progress has been made over the last 60 days on the construction there, and we are currently scheduled to deliver the building in November.”
But that’s just the beginning of the project, which Schneider said will likely entail an additional 2.5-million square feet across three or four more buildings.
“We will be rough-graded for a pad site of about 1.1 million square feet,” he said. “We are still designing the adjacent 95 acres that we recently purchased, but we are anticipating about 1.4 million square feet in either two or three buildings on that site.”
Officially titled the Georgia North Logistics Center, the development is is situated north of State Route 140, in between Interstate 75 and Highway 41.
Schneider said Ashley Capital recently sought several variance requests from the City of Adairsville.
“The City building code requires a significant amount of alternate material other than concrete facing the public road,” he said. “Most of the industrial buildings that we build, we don’t have a requirement for that, and we use a textured paint and various color patterns to provide movement and an appearance similar to a stucco appearance, which is one of the materials that the City of Adairsville requires in their code.”
As for the total size of the economic investment into the project — or a timetable for when it will be completed — Schneider gave no hard numbers.
“Until we start getting some leases in place, it’s hard to speculate on when our next building may get built, or when the park may be built out,” he said.
Nor could he give an estimate for how many jobs the development is expected to generate. Schneider also remained mum on whether or not the development is eying any subsidies — be they on the State or local level — to finance the project.
“I think that depends on the tenant and the wages, as the information we receive from economic development so far,” he said. “We’re not in any direct conversations with them at the moment about any incentives.”
While the development has received quite a few proposals, Schneider said no leases have been signed to date. Continuing, he said there are no particular sectors or industries — or preferred brands or end-users — sought for the project.
“We build to provide maximum flexibility for any and all industry types that may come along,” he said.
He described the marketing approach for the Class-A industrial facilities as one focusing on the brokerage community and economic development agencies.
“I think the main thing that makes Adairsville a great opportunity for us to invest is that it is really site-specific,” Schneider said. “The topography and the proximity to the interstate makes it an ideal location for us.”
Bartow County Administrator Peter Olson said the northern Bartow corridor is certainly “getting hot for logistics” these days. With ample real estate, Olson said the area is especially desirable for those seeking extra-large facilities.
“We haven’t heard any specifics, but the developers [being] mentioned and some others we hear are looking, they have a broad spectrum of clients they build for, in retail of all sorts,” Olson said. “It could be anything, it’s not necessarily going to be in the textile industry is the impression I get … I think we’ll be seeing other types of industries, whether it's automotive-related or other home goods or different sorts of things coming.”
As for construction over the next year or so, Schneider said Ashley Capital’s plans hinge on how well leasing activity goes on their first facility.
“If the building leases up, we would break ground on the next building, and the next building, in all likelihood, would be on the 95-acre site we acquired,” he said. "We would like to save the 1.1 million-square-foot pad site for a potential build-to-suit … we’re still in the process of designing the 95-acre [site], so I don’t know exactly what our next building would be built, what size that would be.”
When it comes to Ashley Capital's investments in Adairsville, Schneider made his 2020 ambitions crystal clear.
“Build a Class-A product, generate jobs for the community and sign leases as quickly as we can,” he concluded.