Grading has started on a 44-acre industrial site off Lanier Islands Parkway/Ga. 347 and Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 in South Hall, across from a QuikTrip convenience store.
The 612,572-square-foot 985 Lanier Logistics industrial park will feature three buildings ranging in size from 167,080 square feet to 236,240 square feet.
Completion of the buildings is targeted for early 2019, spokeswoman Deidre Krause said.
Each building will feature “clean facades and a high-finish benchmark-setting warehouse design,” a press release announcing the project states.
“The park’s design will target quality end-users requiring freight forwarding, third-party logistics and fulfillment needs while also seeking a location that evokes a sense of community,” the release states.
Officials with the developer, McCraney Property Company, view “industrial as the new retail,” according to the release.
“The company’s design approach to the exterior of the buildings is reflective of this, visually more similar to a retail storefront than a typical industrial park.”
The project’s development is taking advantage of a current market trend, officials said.
“I believe that the industrial market is poised for 20 years of outsized growth,” said Steven McCraney, company president and CEO.
“This momentum is due in part to technological advances in warehouse operations, the continued boom of e-commerce, and the advancements of autonomous vehicles, all aimed at getting product to consumers quicker. … The future of industrial is now.”
McCraney added: “For several years, I’ve had my eye looking due north to untapped markets in Atlanta, Savannah and Charlotte scouting new areas for ‘hubs’ and ‘spokes’ throughout the Southeast.”
The company is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 44-acre site, recently rezoned by the city of Buford to allow for the industrial development, was formerly owned by Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System.
In the early 2000s, NGHS was looking at the site “for future health care resources,” NGHS spokesman Sean Couch has said.
“It looks like they were weighing was (the site) going to be large enough for a hospital or was it going to make more sense for it to be a medical (office building),” he said.
In June 2004, the hospital board restudied the area’s growth and decided to look more seriously at a hospital location on the east side of Interstate 985.
Eventually, officials settled on 119 acres off what is now Friendship Road/Ga. 347 close to Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 for what would become Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.
The area around the new hospital has boomed with restaurants and medical offices, but the Buford location is far from sleepy.Much of Lanier Islands Parkway is developed between Ga. 13 and I-985, and the Georgia Department of Transportation is widening Ga. 13 from Buford in Gwinnett to Ga. 347.