Colliers International doubles down in the Upstate

A new office in Spartanburg is getting more deals done for out-of-town developer

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Colliers International held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Spartanburg office on Jan. 15, officially marking the opening of the company’s second Upstate office at 145 W. Main St. off Morgan Square.

The office, which had a soft opening in December, joins Colliers’ Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston offices in representing property owners, landlords, tenants, and investors in a variety of commercial real estate transactions. The firm also provides property management services for landlords.

Statewide, the firm manages a portfolio of nearly 12 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, and health care properties, making it South Carolina’s largest manager of commercial real estate.

In the eight weeks since the new office’s soft opening, Colliers has been asked to do even more work for out-of-state developers in the Upstate while continuing to handle transactions for locally based clients.

More industrial projects are set in Spartanburg County now than in any other county in the state, said Garrett Scott, who with former area developer John Montgomery is one of two vice presidents at the new office.

“As this market is maturing and this market is evolving and the money that is supporting many, many of these deals is coming from out of town, it has expectations of expertise that we believe we are very well-positioned to offer,” Scott said.

Regionally, Colliers’ transactions continue to be driven by three market segments – automotive, advanced materials and manufacturing, and distribution – and the new Spartanburg office is able to call upon in-house resources to meet specialized needs as they arise, Montgomery said.

Those resources include a European automotive desk that keeps Colliers’ offices informed about suppliers or manufacturers interested in relocation to or expansion in the United States; LCK, which provides construction services for new facilities and renovations across the state; and expertise to assist developers of shopping centers, outparcels, and restaurants.

“We bring in the resources from our network to best suit the client, whether it be locally or internationally,” Scott said.

According to fourth-quarter preliminary data from Colliers, 1.5 million square feet of industrial buildings are under construction in the Upstate and are expected to be rapidly absorbed, especially in the Spartanburg market.

Over the past two months, Colliers announced further interest in the region by developers based in Texas and Missouri.

Working with Dallas-based Courtland Development, Colliers brokered land for Fort Prince Commerce One, a 437,000-square-foot cross-dock building on Fort Prince Road that is expected to be completed in August. It also helped Courtland develop the building specs and choose an architect for the 68-door project, which is expandable to 110 doors and which will also contain spaces for 150 trailers.

Colliers is handling leasing for Commerce One and a companion property, Commerce Two, a 399,000-square-foot, build-to-suit facility.

In a separate announcement, Colliers disclosed that it had brokered the purchase of land 2 miles from the Greer Inland Port for The Cubes at Inland Woods, a 467,000-square-foot spec building being developed by CRG, a St. Louis-based real estate investment firm. Earlier, Colliers had been chosen by CRG to find a site for the first phase of the project, a 500,000-square-foot building called The Cubes at Inland 85, now nearing completion. Colliers is marketing both properties.

With spec buildings, initial design work is critical, Scott noted.

“There are a number of factors that can all be added to a building, but if you don’t set them up so you can add those incremental pieces to make the building as close to perfect for a user as you can, you’ve missed the mark on the spec building,” he said, citing variables such as the number of truck doors and process air conditioning.

For industrial users, sewer service is critical in site location, Montgomery added.

“We are fortunate in Spartanburg County to have available land for sale … but also land that has close proximity to the sewers,” he said, with one main sewer utility in the county serving most industrial users. “I think that’s largely why you’re seeing Spartanburg County being the beneficiary of most of the industrial projects over the last 10 years,” he said.

Colliers expects robust industrial activity in the Upstate to continue.

On Jan. 8, the company announced the leasing of 116,000 square feet of space on New Cut Road by GSP North America, an auto-body parts supplier to retailers. Colliers represented GSP in the transaction.

Feeling bullish, Colliers’ Spartanburg team is already considering adding several more staff members. Its most recent recruit, brokerage associate Ralph Settle, specializes in hotel, office, and retail properties.

“I certainly envision us continuing to grow the team” and to add specialists in disciplines such as land development, multifamily housing, and capital markets, Montgomery said. “We have space downstairs to expand this enterprise without having to relocate.”

Prior to joining Colliers in early 2018, Montgomery served as vice president of real estate for Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, then left that firm to launch his own development company. He also collaborated with Scott, who has 27 years of experience running an industrial development firm, and Colliers brokerage associate Brockton Hall to help bring Toray, Ritrama, and Magna to the ever-growing state Highway 290 industrial corridor.

Members of Colliers’ Upstate team split their time between the new Spartanburg office and the company’s Greenville office at 55 E. Camperdown Way, with schedules built around project locations and client needs.

As for Spartanburg, “We are seeing unprecedented growth; our downtown is seeing incredible growth,” Montgomery said. “We wanted to be in the market where we do the most business, and that’s here.”

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