Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of demand for industrial commercial real estate. This trend can be attributed to online shopping emerging as a convenient alternative to traditional retail. The pandemic and national lockdowns crippled retail and brought industrial demand to a new level entirely.
In addition, shipping costs and supply chain issues are compelling American companies to re-onshore their facilities to avoid issues abroad out of their control. For these reasons, and the simple fact that Americans love online shopping, industrial real estate has been the hottest asset class around. However, developers may have built in excess of demand and are now dialing back to realistic numbers.
In 2020, Amazon leased 284,000,000 square feet across the nation, up more than 100,000,000 square feet from the year before. The stellar tenant and its increased appetite for space was music to landlord’s ears. That is, until Amazon began changing its approach in late 2021.
The retail giant wanted to take advantage of its own success, stop leasing and develop its own real estate. It now appears that Amazon may have bit off too much, as the company has closed, canceled or delayed 89 facilities around the world. Developers will be just fine because the sub-leasing demand is still very strong, but if Amazon’s overreach is soon reflected across the entire asset class, there will be a serious over-saturation of warehouse space.
The southern Californian Inland Empire, eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey have traditionally been the strongest industrial areas due to their access to ports and densely populated areas. Recently, the centrally located triangular area between Chicago, Texas and Florida has seen the biggest growth.
Plymouth Industrial REIT believes this area will continue to see great growth and may even provide a solution to over-saturation. CIO Pen White believes manufacturers will begin to onshore their companies into this triangle for its central location, affordability and abundance of land. Newly built warehouses, plus all pipeline deals, could serve American companies looking to come home and avoid the complexity and uncertainty of international markets and increasing costs. Domestic manufacturers will be able to avoid tariffs and retake control of their supply chain. Industrial CRE will have to pave the way for our companies to return.
Baschuk, B. (2022, November 2). US manufacturers ‘pumped up’ about supply-chain reshoring trend. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-02/us-manufacturers-pumped-up-about-supply-chain-reshoring-trend#xj4y7vzkg
Carroll, T. (2023, March 16). Industrial Real Estate Market’s new demand driver changing space requirements. Bisnow. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/industrial/reshoring-nearshoring-drive-increased-industrial-demand-as-e-commerce-decelerates-118050