Officials from CenterPoint Properties, leading third-party logistics company PortCity, and Garden City, GA, gathered December 5, 2023, to officially mark the opening of PortCity’s newest distribution facility 2 miles from the Port of Savannah.
The 348,000-square-foot warehouse adjacent to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 2450 Dean Forest Road is the second of a three-building development CenterPoint plans to complete in late 2024.
Ronel Borner, CenterPoint’s Senior Vice President of Development in the firm’s East Region, credited PortCity and his project team for having the vision to bring the latest phase of the development to life.
“Just two years ago, this was 250 acres of completely unimproved property, largely consisting of wooded wetlands and even some environmentally challenged areas. Many thought the site couldn’t be developed,” Borner said. “When it’s complete, the three-building CenterPoint Industrial City Gardens project will feature nearly one million square feet of new industrial warehousing along with almost 14 acres of ancillary container yards. We believe this park is poised to become another key component of the Savannah industrial market that continues to flourish along with the Port of Savannah,” he added.
Eric Howell, chief executive officer of PortCity, lauded the development’s location mere minutes from the Western Hemisphere’s largest container terminal – the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal – and said that proximity and the Port’s tremendous growth in recent years and those ahead will play a pivotal role in PortCity’s growth trajectory.
“We’ve got a lot of great customers chomping at the bit to get their freight in here, and it’s going to continue to help us enhance our goal, which is to be the best and fastest speed-to-market 3PL provider in the southeast,” Howell explained.
Competition for industrial real estate in Savannah has remained high despite national economic headwinds since the start of 2022. Commercial real estate brokerage firm CBRE reports the market’s vacancy rate is still well below five percent, largely fueled by growth in capacity and volume at the Port of Savannah.
The Georgia Port Authority has invested $1.9 billion in a series of multi-year expansion and modernization projects, helping to propel it into third place among US container ports and making Savannah one of the country’s most critical freight gateways.
Danny Chase of Colliers brokered the build-to-suit lease for CenterPoint. Cushman & Wakefield’s Stephen Ezelle represented PortCity.
Borner said CenterPoint’s Development Team is looking forward to breaking ground on the third and final portion of the CICG development at 2504 Dean Forest Road in early 2024. Earthwork on the site is already well underway on the future site of a 404,000-square-foot building.
CenterPoint leaders say the development will have the full complement of Class A features to super-serve distributors, such as ample parking for trailers and cars, and offers users easy access to interstates 95 and 16 in addition to the Port.
That’s likely welcome news to Garden City’s Mayor Bruce Campbell, who took to the dais at the PortCity event. “We have had a partnership for a mighty long time,” Campbell said of CenterPoint. “You guys do beautiful work. We look forward to the partnership getting bigger down the line.”
Pictured above, from left to right: Michael Murphy, Chief Development Officer, CenterPoint; Ronel Borner, SVP of Development, CenterPoint; Billy Robinson, Chairman of the Board, PortCity; Eric Howell, CEO, PortCity; Bruce Campbell, Mayor, Garden City, GA; John Semsar, Development Manager CenterPoint; Brian Hollings, VP of Development, CenterPoint.