Top Trends Shaping Food Related Industrial Space

Feb. 20, 2019

Avison Young Report: Online Grocery, Cold Storage, among Top 5 Trends Shaping Food Related Industrial Space

The expanding market for food that is fresh, organic, or packaged for convenience continues to drive demand for industrial space. This is particularly true in the Midwest, where the central location bodes well for the processing and distribution of grains, dairy and meats that tie into the food sector.

While the food industry is thriving, there remains a shortage of cold storage space in many markets. According to a Q1 2019 report from Avison Young’s National Food Services Group, the demand for cold storage far outweighs availability in many markets, including New Jersey, New York, and Los Angeles.

“We continue to see a shortage of efficient and modern cold storage facilities in most markets across the U.S., as the industry tries to catch up to the rapid growth in demand for fresh and organic foods and online grocery delivery,” says Todd Heine, an Avison Young Principal and leader of the Chicago-based National Food Services Group. “Cold storage facilities are more costly to build, due to the specialization of the required infrastructure and limited ‘in-fill’ last mile land scarcity.”

As the industry grapples with this shortage, developers are taking advantage of new technologies to be able to build high capacity and highly efficient cold storage facilities on smaller sites, says Heine.

According to the report, an estimated 4 to 8 percent of the 888.6 msf of industrial space added in the U.S. since 2016 supports the food industry with warehouse, distribution, fulfillment and related uses.

Top 5 Food Industry Trends

According to the report, the Top 5 trends to watch are:

  1. Online grocery— Avison Young’s Food Services Group expects to see continued growth in processing and distribution, which will impact industrial space utilization.
  2. Cold storage— Increased demand but limited supply, particularly in primary distribution markets. Development challenges (cost, availability of land) are impacting the market’s ability to add new space.
  3. Last mile— will continue to expand to meet demands from growing online grocery and fresh food sectors. Expect to see increased competition for space near large population bases.
  4. Expanding use of automation— as companies look to improve efficiencies, particularly in light of the shortage of labor
  5. Food safety will be a bigger focus— as companies look closely at where food is sources and how the facility can support food safety and specialized
Google Makes $13 Billion Real Estate Play

Google Makes $13 Billion Real Estate Play

Feb. 18, 2019

Google’s commercial real estate expansion continues, with plans to invest an additional $13 billion in data centers and offices throughout the U.S. in 2019, according to Globe Street.

While the tech giant has been a force in many real estate markets across the country, this announcement carries significant impact across many markets. Here’s a breakdown of the economic benefits to the various markets. Google will be:

  • Adding tens of thousands of new employees
  • Generating 10,000+ construction jobs
  • Moving Wisconsin operations to a larger office
  • Doubling the Virginia workforce
  • Adding offices in Georgia, Texas, the Boston area, Los Angeles, and Washington state, among others

This comes on top of Google’s previously announced 1.7 MSF Hudson Square office expansion in lower Manhattan.

A Look at Google’s Real Estate Needs

While much of this activity involves moving into newly built or existing space, there also are redevelopment plans in the works, according to Bisnow. The company’s footprint in New York City, for example, is mainly repurposed manufacturing space on Manhattan’s West Side, which included its $2.4 billion purchase of Chelsea Market last year.

And, a big shift involves Google’s expansion in the data center sector, with centers planned in Nevada, Texas, Nebraska and Ohio. Here’s a quick rundown by region:
Read more

Chicago Industrial Market Surges in 2018

Chicago Industrial Market Surges in 2018

Feb. 8, 2018

As Q1 2019 gets into full swing, here’s a look at how 2018 fared and what’s ahead in the industrial, office and retail sectors.

Chicago’s Industrial Market to Expand by 18 MSF

While Chicago’s office and retail sectors declined in 2018 compared with 2017, the industrial sector showed solid growth in leasing and construction, according to Avison Young’s Annual Review and 2019 Forecast. The Chicago industrial market should see 18 million square feet of new space added in the next 12 months, including many speculative buildings. This, combined with continually decreasing vacancy rates, shows investor confidence in Chicago’s industrial markets, especially infill submarkets such as O’Hare and I-88.

Office and Retail Real Estate Moderates

The Avison Young report notes the employment picture was also bright last year, with employers in the Chicago metropolitan area adding more than 35,000 jobs year-over-year, according to this Bisnow story.

“Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Salesforce, Career Builder and Madison Capital have all recently announced major expansions in the CBD, which will increase local workforces as well as real estate footprints,” the report notes.

 

Q4 2018: Surge in Spec Industrial Construction in Chicago

In Q4 2018, Chicago’s speculative industrial development boom showed 19.5M SF under construction, according to research from Avison Young. That is a 59% year-over-year increase that is pushing development to new areas. This momentum has been seen for many quarters, as noted in this ULI Report.

“Many submarkets that are closer to the city have little to no space available for new buildings, so we’re continuing to see speculative development moving to outlying submarkets such as Southern Wisconsin,” Avison Young principal Chris Lydon tells Bisnow.

Chicago O’Hare Industrial Market Still Reigns

The O’Hare submarket had 4.9 MSF of new construction in Q4, increasing 50% from Q3. There is some concern about a few submarkets becoming overbuilt, however. The I-80 Corridor has the highest vacancy (12%) of any submarket, as it has seen 15.4 MSF of new construction during the past two years, with another 3.3 MSF underway.

Commercial Real Estate: What’s Trending Now?

Commercial Real Estate: What’s Trending Now?

Jan. 8, 2019

Opportunity Zone Activity, Medical Office and Multifamily are hot for 2019

As 2019 kicks into full swing, commercial real estate experts are out in force with activity and predictions. From a surge in Opportunity Zone activity to the sale of a major medical office portfolio and a new apartment building for Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, here’s the latest CRE news:

Curbed.com reports that Opportunity Zones, created by the new federal tax overhaul, are starting to get a lot of attention from developers and investors looking to get tax benefits to invest in blighted neighborhoods. Check out this story for a look at how investors are getting in on Opportunity Zone opportunities.

Medical office portfolios remain a big draw for investors, as shown by Welltower’s $1.25 billion purchase of CNL Healthcare Properties’ 55 MOB portfolio. According to Bisnow, the deal is one of the largest for medical office buildings in recent years. The buildings total 3.3 msf in 16 states, including this Atlanta property, pictured. This strong outlook for medical office was also shown in this Avison Young Medical Office Report.

 

Changes for Net Lease Market

The net lease market is changing, according to a new report from The Boulder Group, featured in GlobeSt. Find out more on why the spread between asking and closed cap rates on fully leased buildings is growing. And, what does it mean for net leased properties moving forward?

The GlobeSt. story notes that there remain bargains, for those buyers willing to assume a certain amount of risk. This means taking on shorter lease terms or assets without investment grade tenants. According to The Boulder Group, sellers are adding more non-core assets to the market — one reason why cap rates should continue to rise. Interest rates are another factor.

 

More Chicago Multifamily Development

Another Chicago multi-family project has been approved in the West Loop, according to The Real Deal Chicago. How will this 166-unit, 10-story LG Development building at 1220 W. Jackson Blvd fit into the mix of multifamily developments? And, will affordable housing portion meet the needs of area residents?

REJournals 2019 Forecast Event is Jan. 8, 2019 in downtown Chicago. Look for discussion on Opportunity Zone activity, as well as office, retail, and industrial activity.

Forecast 2019 is Here

Chicago’s commercial real estate forecast remains positive for 2019, according to panelists from Illinois Real Estate Journal’s Commercial Real Estate Forecast Conference— the longest running event of its kind. The event attracts more than 900 commercial real estate and related professionals.

Check out the preview story– and check back for post-conference coverage.

 

 

Government Shutdown Looms Big for Commercial Real Estate

Government Shutdown Looms Big for Commercial Real Estate

January 4, 2019

Commercial Real Estate Braces for Government Shutdown

The government shutdown is now in full swing, looking to become the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The partial shutdown is impacting some 800,000 employees who oversee multifamily housing loans and office sector financing, among other areas, according to the New York Times. While essential jobs, such as law enforcement and mail delivery, are still open, the shutdown has affected these departments: Homeland Security, Justice, State Dept., Treasury Dept., the EPA, and NASA.

Plus, workers will have fewer dollars to spend in restaurants and other retail outlets, impacting those commercial real estate sectors. According to this Bisnow story, here’s a quick look at how the commercial real estate industry is seeing the impact:

Multifamily Housing: Enforcement and Oversight Slows

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is working with a limited staff, resulting in slower loan processing. This impacts new multifamily and related housing projects and enforcement of federal housing regulations. According to Bisnow, just 343 of HUD’s nearly 7,500 employees were expected to work full time during the shutdown.  The National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, “Right now there’s a housing shortage for owner occupancy and rental, so if there’s a delay in approving some of the multifamily projects.”

The government shutdown is impacting:

  • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office employees — just a fraction of whom were projected to work full time during a shutdown.
  • Internal Revenue Service forms processing, including some for housing loans. These have been suspended during the shutdown, according to NAR.

Office Sector: Loans are an Issue

Small businesses looking for loans will have a more difficult time because of the shutdown. This could affect the tech sector, startups and small retail businesses. The Small Business Administration said it will remain inactive due to a lack of funding, impacting loan processing and other functions.

Retail Spending to Slow but Restaurant Discounts Offered

Restaurant and retail store traffic is expected to slow, particularly in Washington, DC and other areas with large concentrations of federal workers. This trickle down to the local economy could be a significant strain for small businesses. According to the Washingtonian, many restaurants are adding special deals to help federal workers — and keep their foot traffic flowing during the government shutdown.

Steady Outlook for Commercial Real Estate, Says ULI

Steady Outlook for Commercial Real Estate, Says ULI

Oct. 2018

What’s ahead for the U.S. commercial real estate market? Steady as it goes, according to this ULI Real Estate Economic Forecast.

Economist expect the market to remain strong for the rest of 2018 and continue to grow until at least 2020.  With continued job and GDP growth, vacancy rates in most sectors will stay steady or continue to decrease and rents will continue to rise, but at a decreased rate. In the following sectors, vacancy rates will all remain well below their respective 20-year averages:

  • Multifamily
  • Industrial
  • Office

Multifamily Sector Remains Strong, Says ULI

Apartments, which have led the charge in real estate growth, will retain their low vacancy rates, edging up to 5.2% by 2020. Experts anticipate apartment rental rates will grow by 2.9% in 2018, heading to 2% by 2020.

Job growth will continue to fuel the expansion of real estate. Experts anticipate the creation of 2.4 million new jobs in 2018, 1.9 million new jobs in 2019, and 1 million in 2020.

Industrial Update

As the industrial sector continues its strong run, the ULI forecast shows a slight slowdown in rental rate growth over time. In the past five years, industrial warehouse rental rates have grown significantly above the long-term average. The outlook calls for increases of 3.9% in 2018, 3.3% in ‘19, and 2.4% in ‘20.

Multifamily Skyscrapers Reign in Chicago

Multifamily Skyscrapers Reign in Chicago

In Chicago’s skyscraper race, multifamily is outpacing office, as Millennials and others flock downtown.

Sept. 2018

Chicago’s multifamily market continues to reach new heights, quite literally. The city is now one of just a few cities in the U.S. to boast 100 skyscrapers in its skyline, with the addition of Jupiter Realty Co.’s 444-unit apartment building at 465 North Park. Since 2000, developers have added 38 skyscrapers in Chicago, and 25 of them are multifamily towers, according to a recent Bisnow story. Another seven towers are scheduled to open by 2022, and just one, 110 N. Wacker, is an office building.

Millennials Still Rule

Demand is high on the multifamily front, with an increase in employment and the “live, work, play” trend that is bringing Millennials and others into the Loop and other city neighborhoods. According to a recent report from Real Capital Markets, there is plenty of capital, both domestic and foreign, chasing multifamily investments in Chicago and on a national scale.

 Among the new developments to watch is Vista Tower, a 406-unit condo development nearing completion along East Wacker Drive and the Chicago River. When completed in 2020, it will reach 1,198 feet, surpassing the Aon Center as the city’s third-tallest building.

Chicago’s Skyscraper History

Chicago has a rich history of skyscraper development dating back to the 1960s. Its 1000 Lakeshore Plaza, a 55-story, 590-foot multifamily property was the tallest concrete reinforced building in the world when It was completed in 1964, according to RentCafe. Among the notable multifamily skyscrapers in Chicago are Marina City and Lake Point Tower.

But today, American skyscraper development is mainly taking place in New York. Around the world, China is leading the way in skyscraper construction, developing 76 such buildings in 2017. Just 10 were completed in the U.S. in that same year.

RCM Report: Multifamily Investment Still Strong

RCM Report: Multifamily Investment Still Strong

Sept. 2018

Strong Multifamily Investment Outlook for 2018-19

Real Capital Markets Report: Job growth and strong market fundaments propel multifamily

Strong market fundamentals, an abundance of capital, and an influx of investors continue to push the U.S. multifamily investment market, according to Real Capital Markets’ 2018 Multifamily Investor Sentiment Report.

As detailed in this Globe Street article, the majority of investors surveyed are looking to buy, with many finding a shortage of quality assets, particularly in the value add category. Experts interviewed by RCM noted that underlying fundamentals shaping rental demand continue to draw a wide range of investors into the multifamily sector, despite upward movement in interest rates.

“Based on the number of multifamily properties being brought to market, 2018 is a very solid year in California,” Steve Shanahan, executive managing director at Real Capital Markets, tells GlobeSt.com. “So far, the number of multifamily investment assets brought to market is up year over year, and we believe the activity will continue through the second half of 2018.”

Across the country, both job growth and home prices are high. Because of prohibitively priced homes and millennials’ continued focus on renting over buying, rents are rising to record levels, making apartment buildings a solid investment.

There is $250 billion or more  in capital currently allocated to multifamily investment across the country. For example:

  • National–there is significant capital ready to be deployed in this sector. “Closed end real estate funds have billions of dollars in callable capital—capital that has to be invested over the next three years,” said David Schwartz, CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder of Waterton, a real estate investment and property management firm based in Chicago. “On top of that is a plethora of non-traded REITS, public REITS, private high net worth capital, foreign capital and other sources, each of which has some interest in multifamily investment. That’s what’s keeping these cap rates low.”
  • Phoenix— more than 1,000 older properties with 100 units or more are well-positioned for value-add redevelopment.
  • Dallas–pricing has risen dramatically from $35,000 to $45,000 per unit in a Class B building five years ago to $90,000 today, creating competition for higher end and value-add units across the MSA.
WeWork Expands Shared Office Concept

WeWork Expands Shared Office Concept

Office lease sharing

WeWork is expanding quickly in New York and other key cities. Image courtesy of WeWork.

But Growth Questions Linger

August 10, 2018

Is this the next phase of the shared office landscape? Can WeWork sustain all the buzz and move to profitability?

The popular New York co-working space provider is now opening its doors to midsize companies that want to be WeWork members– but aren’t totally into that sharing concept! According to Ethan Rothstein of Bisnow, the concept would allow companies between 11 and 250 employees to have private and flexible space but fewer services than typical WeWork offices.

Companies committing to the HQ service line will sign a two-year lease agreement as opposed to month-to-month. They will not receive WeWork’s traditional concierge services, full stocked pantries and kegs amenities — but would choose from a list of space features for additional costs.

HQ by WeWork also allows companies who surpass the mark of 250 employees to use the company’s traditional office sharing locations for additional spots. With close to half of 1 million companies expected to expand beyond their midsize level within the next year, WeWork expects to soon exceed past their six office sharing locations in Manhattan. The focus is on Toronto, San Francisco and London for further expansion.

Office Lease Sharing Not Always a Quick Hit

While WeWork’s aggressive growth and impressive revenue stream have caught a lot of media attention, some are wondering if it’s too much too fast. The firm posted a net loss of $934 million in 2017 and $732 million in the first half of 2018, notes this Crunchbase story. Time will tell whether the growing revenue stream can sustain long enough to turn those numbers to black.

 

What Millennials Really Want in Commercial Real Estate

What Millennials Really Want in Commercial Real Estate

July 2018

What Millennials Really Want: Not the Fancy Office Space

Skip the fancy commercial real estate offices? That’s what some Millennials and members of Generation Z are saying — as they look beyond office space and a paycheck when they go to work, according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey. The survey captured the thoughts of more than 10,000 Millennials and nearly 2,000 Gen Z respondents globally.

Younger employees want to work for companies that drive societal progress, believe in social progress, practice environmental sustainability, and keep the safety of their employees and customers at the forefront at all times.

The report shows that their perceptions of businesses have changed, however, especially over the past year. The majority of Millennials now think that business leaders do not behave ethically or think outside of their own agendas.

The report indicated that the keys to keeping Millennial and Generation Z workers’ loyalty will be the showing that the company values the same things they value:

  • Training
  • Diversity
  • Flexibility
  • Sustainable environments

Since many commercial real estate decisions are made based on maintaining employees, business leaders should consider these factors when selecting a location for their office space and building out the space.

Office Space: Consider the Urban Core

By moving commercial real estate offices to the urban core, employers can find a diverse workforce of people and address sustainability issues. Many Millennials prefer to walk, bike or use public transportation to get to work because these modes of transportation are more environmentally friendly and don’t require car ownership.

Employers should also think about building out their commercial real estate spaces with collaborative areas for training. Younger workers are looking to hone their skills in softer Industrial Revolution 4.0 areas, and they often learn best in a more casual, small-group oriented environment, for example. Everything from flexible conference space to casual breakout areas with soft seating can help with these training needs.

General flexibility is also important to Millennial workers. Many of them have or would consider joining the gig economy as a supplement to or instead of having a full-time job, so they want to be able to work from anywhere—an office, their home, a coffee shop, or a beach. Employers should consider making sure their commercial spaces are technologically well-equipped to meet these needs. Collaborative spaces will also help bring employees into these offices when they do need to talk face-to-face with their colleagues.

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