Columbus ranked USA’s top emerging industrial market

Columbus is the top emerging industrial market in the US, according to new research from Colliers.

The city is “poised to be one of the most exciting industrial markets in the country”, the firm says in a new report that ranks the country’s 10 most promising emerging industrial markets.

The industrial sector has been the shining star of the USA’s commercial property in the last year, thanks to the boom in online retail driving demand for warehouse space.

“This balancing act between cost and proximity to consumers and distribution hubs is driving many retailers and wholesalers to seek out modern facilities in secondary markets,” says Colliers. “In particular, this shift is rapidly improving fundamentals near inland ports, seaports and large population centers.”

“While core industrial markets in New Jersey/Pennsylvania, the Inland Empire, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Dallas will continue to thrive, we believe these 10 emerging US industrial markets are positioned to experience the most robust increases in demand from both occupiers and owners,” adds the report.

Columbus is ranked the best of the bunch, primarily due to its location. The crossroads of Interstate 70 and Interstate 71, in conjunction with the availability of large tracts of developable land, make Columbus attractive to logistics providers and retailers. Indeed, Amazon recently completed two fulfillment centers totaling 1.9 million square feet in two key submarkets.

The Rickenbacker Inland Port also serves as a hub for importing and exporting freight via air and rail, positioning Columbus to take advantage of future increases in shipping to East Coast ports.

“After peaking at 15 per cent in mid-2010, the Columbus warehouse/distribution sector has experienced robust activity and the vacancy rate plummeted to 5.4 per cent at the end of 2016,” says Colliers.

Robust demand skyrocketed overall net absorption in 2016 to 8.7 million square feet — by far the most absorption on record, nearing numbers posted only in core industrial markets throughout the country.

Despite robust industrial fundamentals, however, asking rental rates are stable in Columbus and finished 2016 at $3.36 per square foot per year NNN, an attractively affordable option for companies.

“Located within an overnight truck drive of 47 per cent of the US population, Columbus is poised to be one of the most exciting industrial markets in the country,” comments James Garretty, Executive Vice President & Managing Director at Columbus. “A Midwest leader in population, jobs and GDP growth, the Central Ohio region has more than 4,100 logistics and distribution operations that employ more than 80,000 people. Because of its strategic location, Columbus is crossed by eight major interstate highways, allows for double-stacked intermodal trains from the East Coast and is home to the most active foreign trade zone in the nation.”

Others highlighted in the report include Denver, Greater Phoenix, Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, Shenandoah Valley, Tampa Bay.

“Each of these markets is unique, but they share advantages such as nearby logistics hubs, attractive rental rates, land available for development, large nearby populations, pro-business atmospheres and skilled workforces,” adds the report.