Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miller-Valentine chooses Global Logistics Triangle as priority for development

By BETSY HARTER Monday, January 26, 2009

From Port Charleston, a publication of the S.C. State Ports Authority

A new 150,000-square-foot industrial spec building, expandable to 300,000 square feet, has opened in Orangeburg County, bringing multitenant Class A industrial warehouse and manufacturing space to an increasingly popular area.

Located in the Orangeburg County/City Industrial Park, 348 Millennium Drive, it is situated in what has become known as the Global Logistics Triangle formed by I-95, I-26 and U.S. 301. The facility was developed and built by commercial real estate giant Miller-Valentine Group.

Miller-Valentine chose the Orangeburg area for its most recent industrial development for several reasons: a high demand for Class-A multitenant facilities, a concentration of industrial businesses that already reside in Orangeburg and the appeal of the Global Logistics Triangle, which offers proximity to major highways, ports and an excellent labor force.

“Historically, our company focuses on providing well-located industrial tilt-up multitenant buildings in successful markets,” said Kevin Werner, a partner with Millerp-Valentine. “We want to be around industry and other economic pillars. We know that the Port of Charleston is one of those economic generators that can support our mission.”

With 10 million square feet of commercial properties throughout the United States, Miller-Valentine certainly understands the importance of location. Situated midway between New York and Miami, Orangeburg County is also home to a new global logistics hub being created by Jafza International.

“We selected Orangeburg, and specifically Orangeburg County Industrial Park, because it is well located with convenient access to highway systems, offering easy ingress and egress,” said Dale Stigamier, the developer heading up the project for Miller-Valentine. “A few significant companies, such as Allied Air and Dana Corp., have been successful in this park, so we became comfortable with it quickly.”

Just one hour to the Port of Charleston, the area also boasts excellent interstate and rail access. Werner noted that cargo must be put on a trailer when it exits the ship, whether it is going to a distribution facility a couple miles away, or further up to Orangeburg.

“We believe Orangeburg is a lynchpin -- the center point of distribution -- because from here companies can instantaneously go north, south, east or west and cover a good portion of the Southeast from their back yard.”

Miller-Valentine’s new 250’ x 600’ tilt-up concrete facility offers clear heights of 28’ to 32.5’. Able to service companies from 25,200 SF to 150,000 SF, the building has 40’ X 40’ bay spacing and 40’ x 50’ dock bay spacing. Miller-Valentine is offering the building for warehouse or manufacturing use, with the option to lease or purchase.

“We have designed this facility to be as flexible as possible to accommodate the majority of tenants, not the minority,” Stigamier said.

Formed in 1963, Miller-Valentine got its start in heavy construction, including highway and bridge work. As the popularity of tilt-up construction buildings grew in the 1970s, Miller-Valentine became known as “The Tilt-up Kings” during these years. In fact, the company pioneered the Con/Steel Building System, a nationally franchised system that combines the tilt-up construction process with innovative design, construction and management techniques to produce high-value tilt-up structures.

Although this experience gave Miller-Valentine a competitive edge in the construction business, the company’s leaders formed a development organization in order to diversify and become a full-service real estate provider.

“Our business blossomed in the 1970s, and today we have grown it to include a real estate portfolio totaling nearly 20 million square feet of commercial and multifamily properties,” Werner said. “The lion’s share is industrial-driven, but we do have a diverse portfolio, including 8,000 residential units in all forms that we lease to the marketplace.”

Today, Miller-Valentine also offers services in: development, design, renovation, property management, and realty, providing customers with total real estate solutions for more than 50 million square feet of space in a variety of industries. Its wide range of commercial and residential facilities span health care, senior living, educational facilities, office, mixed use, municipal, industrial, distribution and manufacturing. The company provides housing for students, military personnel, and single and multifamily. Other services include historical renovations, exterior and interior renovations, additions and expansions.

Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Miller Valentine employs 850 people throughout both its construction and development organizations. The company has commercial offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Columbia, as well as a handful of other offices that manage residential facilities in North Carolina, Michigan and Indiana.

Stigamier said Miller-Valentine strategically hired Colliers Keenan to market the Orangeburg facility because of the company’s broad reach in both the state and the country.

“Colliers Keenan touches more end users than anyone else in brokerage market. They know our product well and the customers even better,” Werner said. “They do business with distribution companies and manufacturers that look a lot like the ones we are targeting in Orangeburg.”

Hagood Morrison, a broker with Colliers Keenan’s Charleston office, believes 348 Millennium Drive will be successful for a variety of reasons.

“There are many companies and people in Orangeburg, and this facility gives them the opportunity to stay there,” Morrison said. “We are excited to join with Miller-Valentine to be part of the anticipated growth of the Port of Charleston, and we are happy to combine our manufacturing and distribution expertise with our port-related knowledge to help this facility find success.”