Industrial Real Estate Market Q1 2008

During 2007, the warehouse/industrial market was very active as well as the other commercial categories.

The 2008 commercial real estate market, as other service categories, will be difficult to predict.  There are just two many unstable variables that could swing it in either direction.

In 2007, the Bibb County industrial market remained basically unchanged from 2006 with a vacancy of 27.5%.  Total industrial space in the Bibb County market increased slightly above the 16 million square feet reported in 2006.

New Industrial/Distribution Businesses opened in 2007 include:

Home Depot Distribution 76,600 square feet
MBM Food Services 91,000 square feet
Economy Tire 420,000 square feet
Battle Lumber Company 42,000 square feet
ABC Supply 40,000 square feet

No significant blocks of industrial space came into the market in 2007.  We are entering 2008 with 150,000 square feet of flex space in the planning stages.   The selection of industrial/warehouse space under 75,000 square feet increased slightly in 2007, and available inventory should remain stable in 2008.  The primary challenge to decreasing the high warehouse/industrial vacancy rate in the 2008 will again be finding the right user or users for the 2.2 million square foot Brown & Williamson Tobacco Plant which has a new owner aggressively pursuing tenants.

Industrial prospects for 2008 are also encouraging.  Macon’s central location in the state with good proximity to Atlanta as well as the coastal port of Savannah should keep the Macon MSA the primary consideration for both manufacturing and distribution companies in the future.

The beginning of 2008 will show an abundance of choices under 10,000 square feet.  During 2007 two new industrial parks were announced.  A 120 acre park on Avondale Mill Road is in the concept planning stage.  A 150 acre development is planned off US 80 on Griswoldville Road, approximately 4 miles from I-475.  Additionally, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority has purchased 130 acres for expansion of the Airport East Industrial Park.

According to the Macon Economic Development Commission, the industrial segment created over 620 new jobs totaling $82 million in investment from expanding and new developments during 2007, and possibilities for future growth in 2008 are encouraging.


Larry Crumbley, CCIM
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Macon Commercial Office