Industrial Real Estate Market 2006, A Look Back

As predicted, the Bibb County Industrial Market experienced a substantial vacancy increase in 2006 with the 2.2 million square foot Brown & Williamson Plant officially being added to the existing vacancy inventory of more than 2 million square feet of space.

Total Industrial space in the Bibb County market increased to 16 million square feet in 2006 as a result of the addition of new businesses in the area:

Company  Square Feet
Bass Pro Shops Distribution Center 430,000
Nichiha USA in Airport South Industrial Park 298,000
Sara Lee in the I-75 Industrial Park 213,000
Total 941,000

There is no significant industrial spec space planned for 2007.  The selection of industrial space under 75,000 square feet will continue to be limited as the majority of the unusually high vacancy is in the over 100,000 square foot category.

Prospects for 2007 are also encouraging.  Macon’s central location in the state with good proximity to Atlanta as well as the coastal ports should keep the Macon MSA the primary consideration for both manufacturing and distribution users in the future.  Additionally, Cumberland and Western Resources, Inc. has purchased the former Brown & Williamson plant and plans to re-develop it for multi-purpose use.

Industrial Space Inventory for Bibb County   2006 vs. 2005

Bibb County Industrial Space 2006 2005 Change
Total Square Feet 16,000,000 15,059,000 931,000
Available Square Feet 4,400,000 2,300,000 -2,100,000
Vacancy Rate 27.5% 15.30% 45.50%
Absorption Rate -1,400,000 1,110,000

NOTE:  Brown & Williamson Plant vacancy accounts for 2.2 million square feet of  2006 vacant space and negative absorption.


Larry Crumbley, CCIM
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Macon Commercial Office