Tag Archive for: e-commerce

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For most of the last few years, Amazon has been the dominant force in South Florida’s industrial market, but the e-commerce giant’s recent pullback hasn’t had a negative impact on the region’s warehouse market, industry insiders said at Bisnow‘s South Florida Industrial Outlook event last week.

“The last few years it has all been Amazon, right? They were making 90% of that e-commerce growth. They were really bailing us out of all that space we could not lease,” Bridge Industrial Vice President Aaron Hirschl said at the event. “Now it’s everybody else playing catch-up. It is 85% of all the e-commerce deals are other groups other than Amazon. It’s really good to see that positive growth there.”

The vacancy rate for South Florida industrial properties dropped to 1.8% in the third quarter, according to JLL research. Rents have grown 60% year-over-year, to an all-time record of $14.35 per SF. Construction is speeding up as a result: So far in 2022, approximately 2.3M SF of new product has been delivered. Over the next 18 months, JLL projects deliveries to hit 7.8M SF.

“Much of that is still fueled by e-commerce, even in the absence of the industry’s leader,” Prologis Vice President Jason Tenenbaum said at the event, held at the GalleryOne Fort Lauderdale by Hilton. “I’d say e-commerce continues to be the predominant player, I am guessing in the majority of our portfolios, and that’s notable particularly because of Amazon’s specific slowdown this year,” he said. “I would say the vast majority of our work is centered around that space.”

Tenenbaum said that he expects more leasing in the e-commerce space to come from third-party logistics companies as retailers themselves look to outsource their distribution. Those companies, called 3PLs, have accounted for more than 35% of all warehouse leasing in South Florida so far this year, according to a just published CBRE report.

“I think as pricing and rents continue to rise and supply is constrained, you will see a lot more of all of our clients electing to 3PL their supply chain,” Tenenbaum said.

After e-commerce, the biggest driver of demand in the industrial market is in the food and beverage industry and their need for cold storage, developers at the event said. The global cold storage market was over $9.6B last year and is projected to reach $11.3B this year and hit $25.4B by 2027, according to an October market report by Reportlinker.

“If you look at where the demand is the most nationally, clearly cold storage will be it,” BBX Logistics Properties Mark Levy said. “In South Florida, if you look at the footprint of the market as a percentage of the total base, it’s a very, very small amount of cold storage space product that has been delivered.”

Tenenbaum said that the tourism industry in particular has been active in looking for cold storage properties, a piece of the market that had been largely absent for the previous two to three years.

“There was a time in the last 24 to 36 months where the tourism activity was way down. Now it’s back at a high pre-pandemic levels,” Tenenbaum said. “As tourism has come back and the cruise ships are set to sail again, that’s a really active space.”

Levy said that while the cold storage market is “still tremendously undersupplied,” building the space on a speculative basis is still a rarity. But Bridge Industrial launched a spec cold storage warehouse in Hialeah last year, and signed FreezePak to a 312K SF lease in March.

“I remember when Bridge was working on that development and we thought ‘Those guys are crazy! There is no way that they are going to get those rents,’” Hirschl said. “And sure enough, they leased it out and knocked it out of the park. They proved a thesis and it was really cool to see it happen.”

Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the country, doesn’t have a supermarket in South Florida, but it opened a 60K SF warehouse in Opa-Locka this year to start delivering groceries directly to customers’ homes. Kroger said in its September earnings report that its delivery sales grew by 34% from the previous year.

“Kroger does not have any grocery stores here but they are renting near people’s homes,” Hirschl said. “That trend is really interesting to see if they can really penetrate the market here.”

Butters Construction & Development Director of Acquisitions Adam Vaisman said on a panel that, in addition to e-commerce and food and beverage companies, manufacturing is an increasing presence in the market. He said his firm signed a 200K SF lease with a manufacturing firm in Broward County and was getting ready to break ground.

“You will definitely see more of the manufacturing jobs, especially given our labor pool here in South Florida,” Vaisman said. “We are definitely starting to see that and I think that trend is starting to pick up if you continue to have global instability the way we do.”

But while manufacturers and cold storage providers largely need specialized space, e-commerce users are taking any space they can get in a market with soaring rents and sub-2% vacancy.

“Location is the most important always, so for e-commerce users, if they can’t find a new building and it’s a market they need to be in, they will make it work with a Class-B space or a Class-C space,” said Seagis Property Group Vice President of Florida Acquisitions and Leasing Bradlee Lord. “Public transportation will only get increasingly worse as the population grows. With Covid in 2020, the roads were still relatively busy. Location matters as congestion gets worse.”

 

Source: Bisnow

 

Paris, France - December 15, 2016: Amazon Prime Parcel Package. Amazon, is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company,based in Seattle, Washington. Started as an online bookstore, Amazon is become the most importrant retailer in the United States by market capitalization

Amazon.com Inc. is expected to scale back its warehouse holdings nationally, including in Broward County.

At a June 8 public meeting, John Biggie, chairman of the Coral Springs Economic Development Advisory Committee and principal of JBI Development, said the Seattle-based e-commerce giant has “nixed” plans to move into 225,000 square feet within the Commerce Park of Coral Springs, at 4000 N.W. 126th Ave. The facility was slated to hire 200 people, according to previous announcements from Amazon.

Yuri Quispe, a broker with JLL and a member of the committee, said Amazon will also pull out out of a lease deal that it signed 2.5 years ago at a couple warehouse facilities near Sample Road and the Florida Turnpike.

In May, it was widely reported that Amazon executives said the company was losing billions of dollars due to fewer e-commerce sales and an overabundance of warehouses. As a result, the company planned to shrink its national industrial footprint.

Within South Florida, Amazon controls 8.7 million square feet of distribution space. Of that amount, about 2.3 million square feet has yet to be occupied, according to figures from CoStar Group.

Aside from Commerce Park, a source said Amazon has yet to fill an 823,000-square-foot facility at 4600 N. Hiatus Road in Sunrise, a 216,000-square-foot facility at 3750 Palm Drive in Homestead, and 1 million square feet at 13200 S.W. 272nd St. in unincorporated Miami-Dade that it purchased in 2020.

Keith Graves, senior VP of Berger Commercial, said that in the “big scheme of things,” Amazon will have a minimal impact in this industrial market, which has more than 45 million square feet of inventory.

“We are in the single digit vacancy rates. It’s not going to have a dramatic effect,” Grave said.

Nationally, the industrial market is shattering records. However, Quispe and Biggie warned that rough times may be ahead for Coral Springs’ industrial sector.

“We are starting to hear key indicators of leasing activity drying out and demand slowing, of not enough money to put a down payment,” Quispe said during the meeting. “All these ingredients are adding up … and if we are not proactive … when it hits it is going to be very bad.”

Biggie added: “The market has changed dramatically in the past 60 days.”

The 430,000-square-foot Commerce Center of Coral Springs was built in 2018 by Pennsylvania-based EQT Exeter. Exeter paid $14.88 million for the site a year prior. EQT Exeter sold Commerce Center to an unknown buyer in late 2021 as part of a $127.8 million deal. EQT Exeter still manages the site.

 

Source: SFBJ

 

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It’s rare for a property type to extend a growth cycle beyond a decade. But industrial real estate’s dominance only seems to grow — attracting newcomers while big players scrap for the materials and land they need to keep their projects moving and potential clients happy.

While longtime powerhouses like Prologis and Panattoni plow forward with their own mammoth projects — and Amazon admits that it has too much industrial space on its hands — other companies are making their debut, hoping to seize on some of the continued demand and expanding yields.

Although the industrial market has been on an expansion trajectory for years, there seems to be plenty of room for newcomers.

“It’s no secret why industrial is doing so well, with the e-commerce boom really accelerated by what’s happened in the last couple of years with the pandemic,” said Scannell Properties Director of Development in Southern California Jay Tanjuan. “People were almost forced to order online, and many realized how convenient it was. E-commerce has huge demand, and so there’s the need for warehouse.”

There seems to be widespread consensus that the industrial heyday is far from over.

“We’re in an ongoing industrial real estate boom. We had been in an above-average growth phase pre-pandemic and obviously, the pandemic accelerated that. Post-pandemic, it continues to grow,” said RBC Capital Markets Director Michael Carroll, an analyst who covers Prologis and other REITs. “I don’t think we’re at the end of it, it’s still ongoing.”

Carroll pointed to the nationwide vacancy rate for industrial space — 3.3% in the first quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield, with lease rates up 15.2% on average compared to a year ago — and a rapid pace of leasing that means new spec development is snapped up as soon as it’s finished, if not before.

Among the industrial newcomers is Peterson Cos., the Virginia-based developer of residential communities, huge retail districts and data centers. Peterson took the plunge into industrial development last year, and has two projects totaling 334 acres underway in the Washington, D.C., area, with another 915 acres in the planning stages, according to Peterson President of Development Taylor Chess.

“We started looking at industrial eight to 10 years ago, seeing that as the wave of the future,” Chess told Bisnow. “We felt as though distribution was going to become a much more integral part of the retail market. But we kept getting beaten out by people buying land for data centers, so we pivoted to data centers.”

Now, as the company’s initial prediction proved out, hastened along by the pandemic, Peterson doubled down on its efforts, launching an industrial arm in earnest to capitalize on the staggering demand.

 

“There’s no question that internet sales and distribution were going to become a key industry eight years ago, and that’s why we started teeing it up. We had no idea it was going to accelerate as fast as it did,” Chess said.

Peterson’s not alone. Nationwide companies that have operated successfully for decades in other property types are also diversifying their efforts by turning to industrial.

South Carolina-based Greystar, for example, is a bastion of multifamily development and management, with thousands of units in major markets across the country. But Greystar in March paid $43.7M for 154 acres near the Phoenix airport, setting up the company’s first large-scale industrial project. Greystar got a leg up on its foray into a new product type by purchasing a parcel with plans that were already approved by the local planning authority. Greystar will work with a development team assembled by the former owner of the land, a Phoenix-based company called Unbound Development, according to a press release announcing the deal.

Similarly, private equity giant KKR & Co. earlier this month announced a dramatic push into industrial development, with plans to build 1.8M SF worth of mid-sized warehouses in last-mile distribution locations in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and Orlando, Florida.

And Tishman Speyer, known for its office buildings, hired Andy Burke, formerly of industrial developer Terreno Realty Corp., as its managing director to oversee industrial acquisitions and development. Tishman Speyer in December 2021 announced that it acquired two middle-mile distribution centers in Colorado and Pennsylvania.

Each of these new entrants to the industrial market appears to have a focus on last-mile distribution, which is basically the white whale of industrial development right now, according to Carroll, thanks to its demand paired with a lack of available land.

“Companies are trying to build industrial warehouses close to consumers because it reduces shipping costs and labor costs,” Carroll said. “It’s important to be as close to consumers as you can, but most cities don’t want industrial warehouses because they want the highest value for their tax base and the least traffic. It’s hard to build industrial warehouses where they actually need to be.”

The lack of available land is something about which Chess at Peterson knows a lot.

“This has never been an industrial market, it’s always been a government market,” Chess said of his company’s target market around the nation’s capital. “Zoning is a challenge, as well as finding large tracts of land. Many other areas have large industrial sections of their metro area that have already been designated or are being redeveloped from manufacturing. D.C. doesn’t have that, so finding the right location has been a challenge.”

Land availability is just one of the challenges for any company trying to develop industrial properties right now. Shipping delays and turbulence in markets and foreign countries continue driving up the cost of materials, and labor is difficult to find in most markets. This doesn’t just make buildings cost more, it impacts a key factor for potential industrial tenants: speed to market.

“The biggest issue with leasing is that when tenants enter the market, they want it now. That is the biggest issue. The tenants are there, but we have to finish building to be able to put them in. That’s why going spec is so important,” Chess said.

With so much competition for land, materials and labor, the addition of new players to the marketplace could be considered a negative for existing companies that are already battling to get what they need.  But Tanjuan says that for those who are committed to the product type, there’s a way forward.

“There are opportunities out there for everybody,” Tanjuan said. “It’s competitive, and finding space is extremely difficult, but there are opportunities out there. If you’re out there and being proactive, you’re going to run into something.”

 

Source: Bisnow

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Retailers, third-party logistics firms and e-commerce groups alike are eating up the most big-box warehouse space in today’s red-hot market.

Retailers and wholesalers accounted for the most industrial deals at 200,000 square feet or larger last year, or 35.8% of all leasing activity, a considerable increase from 24.7% in 2020, according to CBRE Group Inc. E-commerce fell from the No. 1 spot in 2020 to third last year, accounting for 10.7% of all deals, while 3PLs grew from 25.8% to 32.2%, ranking No. 2 among large industrial leases in both 2020 and 2021.

Propelled by a surge in online ordering, and changes to consumer preferences in part because of the pandemic, retailers and 3PLs have ramped up their distribution networks considerably in recent years. That demand is expected to be sustained this year, and could become even more frenzied with the recent surge in gas prices.

The cost of regular gas has risen nationally 20.9% in the past month, from an about $3.50 a gallon to $4.32 on Tuesday, according to figures from Heathrow, Florida-based American Automobile Association Inc.

James Breeze, senior director and global head of industrial and logistics research at CBRE, said transportation accounts for at least 50% of a typical industrial occupier’s costs, even before the recent hike in inflation and oil prices. But, largely because of sanctions imposed on Russia from the war in Ukraine, oil prices have risen dramatically, although Brent crude futures — a key benchmark for oil prices — just began to decline. National gas prices were down 0.2% between Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15, according to AAA.

“Any run-up in transportation costs will likely outpace warehouse rent growth, even while that’s growing at a rapid clip, which could result in even more demand for warehouse space,” Breeze said.

Carolyn Salzer, senior research manager of industrial logistics at Cushman & Wakefield PLC said higher gas prices could have a ripple effect on the industrial market, depending on the user and their supply-chain model. Both Salzer and Breeze said real estate costs for warehouse users have typically been about 5% of a company’s costs but, more recently, that’s gotten closer to 10%, Salzer said.

“If you bite the bullet and pay the more expensive rent to be close to the population center, and be more competitive with the labor pool and provide easier options for commuters to get to where you’re located, it can cut your transportation costs on gas and mileage in general,” Salzer continued.

Cushman & Wakefield is forecasting rent growth for warehouse and logistics space will rise by more than 15% in the next two years. Class A and new construction rents are anticipated to grow at an even higher rate. Those rental surges are creating a squeeze for some users, with tenants looking at lease terms sooner than what’s typical, or negotiating an early renewal or a smaller extension to resize a facility or consider real estate farther out, Salzer said.

But, Breeze said, for most industrial users today, higher rental rates generally aren’t causing companies to hit the brakes on expansion because they need the space to store inventory and lower transportation costs.

Salzer said she anticipates e-commerce users will occupy about the same share of the market it has since the pandemic, or 40%. That’s compared to 28.2% of all industrial absorption from 2016 through 2019, according to Cushman. Many retailers are opting to work with 3PLs to bolster their supply chains, which will continue to comprise demand in 2022 and beyond.

“CBRE so far this year has seen ramped-up leasing activity for groups that deal in building and construction materials, as well as medical supplies, which typically represent a lower share of the overall warehouse market, Breeze said. “That’ll likely mean a more diversified occupier base this year.”

 

Source: SFBJ

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Labor scarcity will be among the major headwinds driving industrial commercial real estate decisions in 2022 as record shortages challenge distribution channels and unemployment hits a near-historic low.

“With industrial related hiring already at all-time highs, the continued need for labor to service growing e-commerce demands, combined with an economy at nearly full employment, is exacerbating the labor shortage for distribution workers in many markets,” a new Colliers report notes, adding that the US unemployment rate is now near a 50 year low of 3.5%.

And while so far, the industrial sector has managed to post record growth, the labor shortages span “nearly all demographic groups and affect the entire American economy,” and continuing lows will slow the rate of economic growth and slow manufacturing output, Colliers predicts.

“While automation and advanced technologies are becoming more prevalent and affecting industrial employment, the future will still rely on highly skilled labor to operate complex systems and machinery, alongside robotics—labor that is increasingly more difficult to find,” the Colliers report notes.

In addition, scarce land availability will continue to impact the sector. Prologis reports that construction starts have risen to an all time high of 120 million square feet in the sector, but the firm notes that new supply is mainly concentrated in low-barrier secondary and tertiary markets and the outlying submarkets of inland markets.

While a record level of new supply is expected by the end of 2022—including massive build-to-suit projects for e-commerce suppliers and big-box chains—land near big population centers is increasingly scarce.

“Companies seem willing to pay a premium price for land with fierce competition for developable sites,” Colliers analysts note. “This competition is also driving up industrial rents, especially for logistics space near US seaports.”

Colliers also notes that facilities in excess of 2 million square feet are increasingly popular in dense markets as retailers attempt to establish footholds closer to consumers and shorten delivery times. The firm is tracking 12 such big-box multi-story industrial mega centers currently under construction, and notes that a vast majority are for Amazon.

 

Source: GlobeSt.

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The U.S. industrial real estate market will continue to be on fire heading into 2022 but longer lead times to obtain construction materials and across-the-board price increases will also affect the sector.

Cushman & Wakefield PLC took a two-year look into the future, predicting industrial absorption from the start of 2022 to the end of 2023 will be 855 million square feet. Although demand will be high, and issues will make new industrial development challenging, Cushman expects new supply will slightly outpace demand in the next two years, which’ll help moderate the market somewhat.

Cushman is predicting new industrial deliveries will reach 932 million square feet in 2022 and 2023. E-commerce is a big reason — but not the only one — behind the warehouse sector’s massive growth since the pandemic. Online sales rose to 21.6% of total retail sales in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 16.2% in Q1 2020, and remain around 20% as of Q3 2021, according to CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBRE) research.

“2021 was the best year ever for industrial real estate,” said James Breeze, senior director and global head of industrial and logistics research at CBRE, during a recent forecast call with reporters.

Third-party logistics have dominated industrial deal activity this year, a share that could grow in 2022 as costs continue to rise, and space and labor becomes more challenging to find.

“Many retailers or wholesalers will outsource their distribution to 3PLs at a greater clip in 2022,” Breeze said. “This outsourcing is going to be prevalent throughout the country.”

CBRE is forecasting vacancy rates next year for warehouses to remain at or even below 3.6% in 2022. Cushman is predicting industrial vacancy in North America will end 2023 at 4.1%. Expect rents to continue to rise for industrial occupiers, too. Cushman is forecasting average net asking rents for warehouse space in North America will reach a new high of $8.72 per square feet by the end of 2023.

“Even with the rental-rate hikes, tenants need warehouse space so much they’re willing to pay the new rates,” said Erik Foster, principal and head of industrial capital markets at Avison Young USA Inc.

“In fact, transportation costs are a bigger concern for many groups leasing warehouse space,” Breeze said.

Real estate costs are typically only 3% to 6% of total logistics costs, compared to 50% for transportation. The cost to ship goods via ocean freight grew more than 200% in 2021, while domestic-freight costs jumped more than 40%, according to CBRE.

 

“Leasing more space may actually save some occupiers money, if they are able to use additional facilities to cut down on domestic or international transportation,” Breeze added.

Investment activity for industrial real estate is expected to remain hot in 2022. Since the pandemic, some capital sources have pivoted away from uncertain asset classes, like retail and office, and instead poured money into industrial and multifamily, both of which have been on a tear in 2021.

Capitalization-rate compression across several U.S. markets has been observed in 2021 and is expected to continue, but cap-rate spreads between primary and secondary markets will be observed, CBRE predicts.

CBRE is predicting Phoenix and Las Vegas will post cap rates in line with the Inland Empire, about 3.1% in the first half of 2021, in 2022. Prices in the Pennsylvania Interstates 78/81 corridor are expected to be closer to those seen in New Jersey industrial markets, about 2.9% in H1 2021, says CBRE. Northern and central Florida could approach cap rates observed today in south Florida. Miami industrial real estate saw cap rates averaging 3.75% in H1 2021.

“With the amount of investor interest in industrial right now, there are some groups that don’t have much experience owning or operating warehouse real estate,” Foster said. “We’re seeing folks that are sophisticated, with real funds behind them, move in like never before to an asset class that they don’t know that well, which can cause risk.”

 

Source: SFBJ

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A company managed by Jon Samuel, the developer of Midtown Miami, paid $15.7 million for a warehouse in Coral Springs.

Coral Vutec Properties LLC, managed by Daniel Sinkoff, sold the 105,183-square-foot warehouse at 11711 W. Sample Road to MGX I LLC, managed by Samuel of Miami-based Midtown Group. The buyer was represented by Josh Wade of Delray Beach-based Flagship Retail Advisors.

The price equated to $149 per square foot. The warehouse last traded for $5.25 million in 2009, so it gained in value. One of the largest tenants is Access Fabricators Corp., which is also managed by Sinkoff.

 

 

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In Prologis’ recent third quarter earnings call, CEO Hamid Moghadam was blunt in his assessment of the industrial sector’s supply-demand equilibrium:

“With vacancies at unprecedented lows, space in our markets is effectively sold out.”

It is, of course, little secret that industrial rents are at a premium and tenants are jockeying for what space they can find. But new details in Prologis’ Industrial Business Indicator report show just how much of an uphill climb supply will have before it meets current and future demand.

Prologis reports that construction starts have risen to an all time high of 120 million square feet, with speculative construction representing roughly 88% of all starts in the quarter. But pre-leasing has also reached its own record of 70%. That, coupled with construction delays, which are spreading out deliveries, means the risk of oversupply is low.

“We do not anticipate significant supply relief in most key locations; new supply is concentrated in low-barrier secondary and tertiary markets and the outlying submarkets of inland markets,” Prologis Research said.

Indeed, it concludes that demand is set to outpace new supply through the near term. The reasons include the ongoing rise of e-commerce penetration and companies’ move to build resilience into their supply chains. In addition, retail sales are robust, and trillions of dollars in pent-up savings and record-high consumer net worth should support future spending growth.

Prologis Research forecasts net absorption of 375 million square feet and deliveries of 285 million square feet for the full year.

“Looking ahead, we expect that market conditions will remain exceptionally competitive for customers looking to expand, making it essential to plan early and move quickly.”

 

Source: GlobeSt.

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Everyone is becoming more accustomed to seeing small trucks roam their neighborhoods, delivering goods ordered online.

But even as the coronavirus pandemic greatly intensified demand for these services, most municipalities are reluctant to approve proposals to develop new industrial service facilities where distributors and other businesses can store, maintain or dispatch vehicles, heavy equipment or bulk materials.

“Nobody wants to live next to a truck terminal,” JLL Senior Associate Kate Coxworth said. “That not-in-my-backyard, or NIMBY, attitude keeps new supply low, sending rental rates soaring for existing industrial service facilities in markets across the U.S.”

That’s helped in the past 12 months to draw in a new cadre of developers and investors who now see these facilities as an essential component of the rapidly expanding industrial sector.

“These facilities are the skeleton of the supply chain, and there are more people making the discovery that there are real opportunities here,” Industrial Outdoor Ventures CEO Tom Barbera said.

Barbera started Schaumburg, Illinois-based IOV about five years ago, and for most of that time, only three or four other firms specialized in acquiring and developing properties within the niche sector, he said. But things changed in 2021. A new group of six to eight firms is now out there and has made the market for industrial service facilities more competitive.

“And I think we’ll continue to see new folks get involved,” Barbera said.

National investment players have also joined the fray. IOV formed a joint venture in March with San Francisco-based Stockbridge, planning to make between $100M and $200M of acquisitions annually. IOV completed 24 acquisitions in its first four years, but thanks to the new joint venture, it has picked up the pace and has closed 16 new acquisitions since February.

That includes the 39K SF 1401 North Farnsworth Ave. in Aurora, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and the 22K SF 4212 Perry Blvd. in Whitestown, Indiana, an Indianapolis suburb. Both are 100% occupied by MacQueen, a fire truck and emergency equipment provider that uses the properties for truck maintenance and repair.

“By the end of this year, IOV could close on another 20 properties and be in at least a dozen major metro areas, including South Florida, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Houston,” Barbera said.

 

JLL also recognizes ISF’s growing importance as an asset class, and plans to establish a group of specialists that will handle such transactions, according to Coxworth, who helped represent IOV in the Aurora and Whitestown deals.

“JLL researchers have started tracking the nationwide vacancy rate among ISF properties,” Coxworth said.

It now stands at 3.1%, and with many municipalities expected to continue blocking new facilities, especially in dense residential areas now served by so many delivery trucks, investors can be confident the market will stay tight. In addition, ISF tenants promise steady returns.

“Almost all of the tenants are signing 10-year leases because they all understand that this is a hard commodity to find, and once you do, you better hold onto it,” Coxworth said.

These tenants have shown a willingness to pay much more in rent as the industrial boom continues, according to Timber Hill Group Managing Partner Cary Goldman, who founded the Chicago-based firm in 2018. The first truck parking facility he bought was near southwest suburban Stickney and Chicago’s Midway Airport, and tenants typically were paying about $135 per month for each space.

“But spaces in the same area now go for between $275 and $300,” Goldman said. “And spaces near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport can cost $375 and are trending toward $400. What other sector has seen its rental rates more than double in just a few years? Although that will certainly help bring in more investors, it’s a management-intensive business, and actually operating industrial service facilities will probably stay with specialists.”

Unlike the new distribution warehouses so popular with investors, ISFs sometimes have hundreds of tenants, each needing just one or a few truck spaces.

“It really is akin to self-storage,”  Goldman said. “And setting rental rates isn’t easy, as no one tracks the information needed to generate comps. There is no CoStar for truck parking places, The information is not easy to obtain and it takes a lot of real ground-level research. It’s also not a trophy asset,” he added. “It doesn’t look pretty on a brochure. It’s a lot of gravel behind a fence.”

Timber Hill Group now owns 16 assets, according to Goldman, and like IOV, plans to keep buying. It formed a joint venture in September with Chicago-based Champion Realty Advisors, and over the next 12 to 18 months the venture plans to acquire $150M of assets in infill locations near road interchanges and rail networks.

He said he expects that the market for ISFs will soon get even tighter in most metro areas. Not only is it tough to get the proper zoning and other approvals from cities for new truck parks and storage areas, but ISF owners can frequently score deals to transform existing spaces.

“Supply is actually coming off the market, because it’s being converted to other uses, an added bonus for ISF owners, Goldman said. “It provides good cash flow while you wait for great development opportunities.”

 

Source: Bisnow

 

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The recovery of South Florida’s office and industrial markets continued through the first half of 2021, with dynamics unique to each sector.

In the office market, inventory in the tri-counties recorded increases in vacant space, but that dynamic added needed options to new-to-market tenants from urban areas to the north. Each new company relocation from cities like New York validates that South Florida’s dynamic employment pool can provide firms with the human capital needed to grow and expand their businesses.

In the industrial sector, the pandemic helped fuel an explosion of demand led by e-commerce and logistics companies who needed to be closer to end customers. With three out of the nation’s four largest deep-water ports located in South Florida, the region took advantage of the upswing in consumer spending and trade as the economy bounced back sharply in the last half of 2020.

Office Market

Office leasing remained depressed compared to pre-COVID levels. Approximately 3.2 million square feet in deals were signed in the first six months of 2021, compared with more than 5.7 million square feet leased in the first quarter in 2020. Throughout the pandemic, the region saw heightened demand from new-to-market tenants, primarily from the Northeast. More than 60 percent of leasing volume occurred in Class A assets, reflecting a focus on quality over value. Suburban submarkets accounted for more than 75 percent of deals signed, which was similar to pre-pandemic splits. Interest remained high for space in the central business districts (CBDs), which spoke to many tenants’ desire to remain in urban cores.

Overall asking rents for office in South Florida were $40.38 per square foot, full service, on incremental increases in all three counties. In Miami-Dade, overall asking rents rose 7.4 percent year over year to $43.02 per square foot, an all-time high. Broward’s overall asking rents rose 8.4 percent year over year to $36.52 per square foot. Palm Beach County had a 5.3 percent bump in rents in the last 12 months and ended the second quarter at $39.64 per square foot, mostly driven by rent escalations of 6.5 percent in Class A buildings. New inventory delivered over the last 18 months in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach CBDs helped push asking rents higher for the overall market.

Overall vacancy rates for the region was 17 percent at the midyear, with the rate in Miami-Dade the highest at 17.6 percent, a 420 basis point jump in the last year. Broward County had a similar increase to 16.9 percent, while Palm Beach closed the quarter at 16.1 percent, up only 240 basis points year over year. Vacant space proliferated predominantly in Class A assets, as well as from new construction deliveries. This was acute in Palm Beach County, which saw several high-profile office project deliveries. Unlike several gateway cities, vacant office sublease space has not been a major contributor to increases in the rate, only 1.3 percent of overall inventory and well-below levels recorded after the last recession.

Industrial Market

New leasing activity year to date totaled 7.6 million square feet in the tri-counties, up significantly from the first half of 2020, when initial lockdowns and restrictions took hold across the country. In fact, leasing activity in the first half of the year surpassed 2019 levels by 21 percent. Miami-Dade accounted for more than half of all leases signed, with 4.4 million square feet leased, an increase of 17.2 percent compared to the same period one year ago. Broward County recorded 2.5 million square feet of new leasing activity year to date, with the second quarter reaching nearly 1.4 million square feet, a 19.9 percent increase compared to one year ago. Palm Beach County, on the other hand, clocked just 621,000 square feet in the first half of the year, a 19.6 percent decrease from the same period last year, which had the highest amount of space leased for the first six months on record.

Overall asking rents in the region were $9.78 per square foot, triple net, at the end of the second quarter. Asking rents in Miami-Dade jumped 7.7 percent year over year to $9.28 per square foot, the first time ever that asking rents averaged above $9.00 per square foot. Broward County rents improved by 1.4 percent to $10.05 per square foot on steady increases for available warehouse/distribution space. Market rents in Palm Beach County decreased year over year by 1.1 percent to $10.55 per square foot, but were up 1.1 percent quarter over quarter. New product in 2021 with higher-than-average asking rents, as well as limited available space options, allowed landlords to raise rents with confidence in the first six months.

Overall vacancy ended the second quarter of 2021 at 4.5 percent, slightly higher by 200 basis points than the level from 12 months prior. Miami-Dade had the largest increases in occupancy, with the vacancy rate falling to 3.4 percent, a decrease of 130 basis points year over year. Broward and Palm Beach counties saw increases in vacancy, rising by 40 and 90 basis points, respectively. The main driver for the decrease in vacancy was the 5 million square feet of positive absorption in the first half of the year. In addition, there were 3.4 million square feet in construction deliveries, with another 6.9 million square feet under construction.

 

Source: Commercial Observer

American dollars grow from the ground

The growing logistics industry has not only created insatiable demand for warehouse space, it has ramped up growth in the transportation industry, creating a need for modern truck terminals with high-volume flow-through facilities.

Commercial real estate investors are beginning to take notice and are allocating more of their money to this niche sector.

“Historically, investors in truck terminals were large trucking companies that wanted to own their own facilities, like Old Dominion ABF, SAIA, R&L, Carriers, Central Transport and ESTES,” says Dean Brody, executive managing director and specialist in this investment area with real estate services firm JLL.

Today, this sub-sector is attracting big institutional investors and industrial real estate developers/investors. These include Centerpoint, Realterm Logistics, Terreno Realty, Brookfield, Duke Realty, Prologis, Stonemont, Altera, JP Morgan and others that have recently entered this market. Speculative development may not be far behind.

For example, in April, Chicago-based Dayton Street Partners acquired a 17,897-sq.-ft. truck terminal near Tampa International Airport in Florida from a private investor for an undisclosed price. The property is 100 percent leased to ABF Freight.

“This was a great opportunity to capitalize on increasing demand in the market and is part of a larger corporate strategy to invest in well-located, logistics-related real estate assets in Florida and throughout the U.S.,” said DSP Principal Michael Schack in a statement.

Integrated Service Provider (ISP) facilities are essential to supply chain efficiencies, Brody notes. Amid higher transportation costs and driver shortages, the need for them has been growing over the pst 15 years.

“The e-commerce boom has accelerated demand for those facilities by multiples,” Brody says.

“The purpose for these buildings is either redirecting cargo mode—usually from container to truckload—or consolidating and redirecting freight direction and what freight rides together,” according to John Morris, executive managing director and Americas industrial and logistics leader with real estate services firm CBRE.

De-containerizing cargo and transloading it onto trucks or rail cars facilitates logistics efficiencies, according to Brody. He explains, for example, that cargo from three 40-foot containers can fit into two 53-foot truck trailers, and it is more cost-effective for those trucks to deliver the cargo than directly transporting it over 50 miles to the final destination because the empty containers then must be returned to the origination point.

Markets that see the heaviest cargo movements have the highest demand for these functionalities, Morris notes. For example, there is a significant density of transload buildings in Southern California’s Inland Empire, where cargo is often moved from the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach, Calif. because it costs less to de-containerize it there than closer to the ports.

“Containers coming in from China are dray-moved to these buildings, de-containerized into different trucks or rail cars and moved out to mostly points further east from there,” Morris says.

The fee revenue models for these facilities are similar to any real estate tenancy—users typically own or lease them, according to Morris. However, many are also third-party facilities, where users are charged through a 3PL arrangement that is a blend of fixed and variable costs. Brody notes that pricing is on a per-door, per-month triple-net basis.

ISPs are located in logistics hubs all over the country. Those near intermodal facilities and ports will have transload options, Brody says, noting that terminals in infill locations in places like Northern New Jersey, New York City outer boroughs, Chicago, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire are achieving the highest rents.

ISP property values are dependent on location, but cap rates on these assets tend to be on average 1.5 percent higher than those for class-A warehouse properties, according to Brody. He notes that the spread is narrowing in core markets, where cap rates on ISP assets are now only 50 basis points to 100 basis points higher than for a warehouse, or might even be the same.

While returns on investment for ISP facilities are lower than those for warehouse properties, Morris says that they are marginally less expensive to develop, as transloading buildings do not require much clear height, and their structures typically do not need to support heavy automation. Such buildings also have lower coverage ratios, typically about one-tenth of the site, but they do require a lot of land to accommodate the higher number of axles travelling in and out than a traditional warehouse does.

“ISPs, which are basically concrete yards with a transloading facility, haven’t changed much over the last 50 years, except modern facilities have 100-foot dock doors as opposed to 70 to 90-foot doors found in older facilities, to provide greater flexibility in movement,” Brody says.

Cities generally don’t allow the development of ISP facilities near large population centers, as they have several negative aspects: they are aesthetically unattractive and inherently involve heavy truck traffic and significant CO2 emissions. Therefore, Brody notes that there is tremendous value in land already zoned for ISPs.

Despite high demand for these facilities, they have traditionally been developed on a build-to-suit basis for single-tenant users, such as large Fortune 100 retailers or third-party logistics providers, including Fedex, UPS, XPO and National Retail Systems. But going forward, Brody expects that spec developers will soon begin capitalizing on the growing need for ISP buildings.

 

Source: Wealth Management

Grocery cart in supermarket org

Instacart is the latest company seeking to cash in on the industrial real estate boom, making plans to build its own fulfillment centers for supermarkets.

The grocery delivery company will begin developing an undetermined number of fulfillment centers over the next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The centers would be able to hold between 10,000 and 50,000 items.

Instacart plans to use robots to retrieve items in the fulfillment centers and employees to pack and deliver them. It’s unclear how much Instacart is planning on spending.

The company saw business surge during the pandemic, as consumers turned to online ordering to avoid going to grocery stores. Shoppers are beginning to return in-person, however, leading Instacart to adjust its strategy. Fulfilment centers offer the possibility of speeding up orders — a necessity when it comes to groceries — and cutting costs.

Instacart raised almost $700 million in 2020 and is valued at $39 billion. The company has plans to go public.

Warehouses have been one of the hottest commodities in real estate as e-commerce giants and smaller companies alike look to cut costs and accelerate deliveries. From January through May, first-year base rents on leases of at least a year grew almost 10 percent, with larger warehouses seeing even sharper increases.

 

Source: The Real Deal