pandemic, many of those industries dealt with challenges that had not been seen before — such as man- ufacturing facilities operating with fewer personnel on the floor due to social distancing protocols. However, many of these busi- nesses were able to maintain their operations because the nature of the job was considered essential. In fact, some businesses even thrived. Con- sequently, with more people staying home and ordering online, online retailers, order fulfillment centers, and shipping and logistics compa- nies were not only busy, but they were also expanding. Notably, shipping and receiving facilities, fulfilment centers and trucking companies are more social- ly distanced work environments that most others — and they’re also essential. Now, with the acceleration of e-commerce, it’s more important than ever to have enough facilities to support all the goods that are being ordered and delivered.

Accordingly, eight of the 10 largest industrial buildings set for comple- tion this year will either be occupied or owned outright by Amazon. Of these, just four properties construct- ed by Amazon will stretch across 14.8 million square feet, with anoth- er 13.5 million square feet set to be leased from other developers. Furthermore, all the top 10 largest industrial properties are more than 2.5 million square feet, the largest reaching 4 million square feet: Aus- tin’s new Giga Texas Tesla manu- facturing facility and Project Rodeo, Amazon’s new facility in Colorado Springs. In contrast, last year, the largest industrial property complet- ed was 2.8 million square feet. GOOD NEWS FOR INCREASED DEMAND: INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS CAN BE BUILT QUICKLY When it comes to the construction of commercial buildings, industrial buildings like warehouses are the easiest and quickest to build, with

the average warehouse taking less than three months to complete. That’s good news when, almost over- night, e-commerce solutions became an essential part of everyday life. Still, part of the fast growth cycle is that demand often exceeds supply— and industrial real estate is no differ- ent. For example, in some markets, it’s getting difficult for logistics and trucking companies to find properties with the necessary attributes—like high-velocity cross docks and ade- quate corresponding trailer storage capacity—that are still near main travel arteries. And, with shrinking stock, many of the smaller, would-be buyers are getting priced out. However, flex space could be an alternative to office space, as well. Normally much smaller and more easily retrofitted for different uses, flex space also has benefits typical of industrial space, as well, such as loading docks, open spaces and good locations.


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