E-Commerce Reviving Orlando's Industrial Market

Online commerce is helping to revive Orlando’s industrial real-estate market, which is poised to get about a million square feet of new space during the next year.

About 100 industrial brokers gathered Thursday at a breakfast organized by NAIOP, a commercial real-estate association.

Several industrial developers spoke about new demand for industrial space from retailers who are expanding their e-commerce sales operations. Warehousing for online shopping has grown to account for about 15 percent of industrial space, said Denver Glazier, an investment officer for Prologis Florida.

The prime tenant at Bent Oak Industrial Park, a new building being constructed by McCraney Property Company, is Bodek & Rhodes, a Philadelphia-based retailer that specializes in custom-imprinted activewear, uniforms and promotional products. The company signed a 10-year lease for a 200,000-square-foot build-to-suit in the project in March. Retailers’ leasing of additional warehouse space comes as big-box stores continue to downsize.

Overall in Orlando’s industrial market, demand for space is still nowhere near peak-market levels of 2005 and 2006, when leases consumed about 7 million additional square feet a year. The market is absorbing about 1 million square feet a year now and has vacancy rates of 9.3 percent — sharply above the 5 percent rate of almost a decade ago, said Todd Watson, regional vice president for DCT Industrial Trust.

Speakers on Thursday also said the Panama Canal expansion is likely to have a greater impact on Mobile, Ala.; Savannah, Ga.; and Charleston, S.C. than on ports in Florida. Distributors are expected to tap ports that are closely tied to U.S. supply chains.

On the medical front, pharmaceutical-related companies have found it “crucial” to have fiber optics and telecommunications capabilities in warehouse space at Horizon Office Park, said John Coleman, senior vice president of Florida for EastGroup Properties. The technology is used to handle orders for mail-order prescriptions.

  Source:  Orlando Sentinel]]>



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