By John Schaffner

editor@reporternewspapers.net

JAS Forwarding Worldwide has purchased a 6.34-acre site on Barfield Road in Sandy Springs from The Griffin Co. for the relocation of its North American and worldwide headquarters from College Park south of Atlanta.

The site, which is part of the former Cosmopolitan North office complex, includes three buildings at 6165, 6195 and 6205 Barfield Road that will be renovated — including new exteriors, building systems and interiors — for the freight-forwarding company’s 90,000-square-foot headquarters.

Griffin Construction Services Inc., which along with its parent, The Griffin Co., is based at 800 Mount Vernon Highway in Sandy Springs, will be the general contractor of the more than $20 million state-of-art JAS corporate campus project, which will include the three two-story buildings, a walking and jogging trail, and lodging for some business travelers. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of this year.

JAS President and CEO Marco Rebuffi said the site “perfectly fits our location and size criteria,” and the campus will be designed “for the well-being of our employees, visiting customers and vendors.”

JAS is a leader in the freight-forwarding market, which includes air and ocean shipments for import and export. Founded in Italy in 1978, the company has more than 200 offices and 3,000 employees worldwide.

Kirk S. Demetrops, the president of The Griffin Co., worked with JAS throughout 2008 to finalize the transaction. “The headquarters building for JAS is a long-term commitment,” Demetrops said. “The headquarters will be a great addition to the Central Perimeter office market and the city of Sandy Springs.”

JAS bought about 60 percent of the former Cosmopolitan North complex from Griffin, which plans to develop the remaining 40 percent as Phase 2 at a later date.

Barfield Road, while paralleling Ga. 400, connects Hammond Drive, Mount Vernon Highway and Abernathy Road, the three major east-west roads serving the Central Perimeter market. New ramps expected at Hammond Drive and Ga. 400 will improve access to the JAS campus and Barfield Road.

Barfield Road extends north to Abernathy Road, where it continues as Glenridge Parkway, home to the headquarters of UPS and Newell Rubbermaid.

Griffin has been an active developer in recent years along Barfield Road. The company developed the Internet Security Systems (IBM) headquarters, Byers Engineering headquarters, Perimeter Place office building and 9.4-acre mixed-use development NorthPlace.