To the hundreds of thousands of people who call Central Pennsylvania home, we have found countless reasons to fall in love with the area from our beautiful blend of distinct cultures to the Capital city and Hershey’s Chocolate World.
But to industrial businesses that rely upon the ease and affordability of shipping their products to make a living, Central Pennsylvania has an entirely unique list of reasons why planting roots in this area makes sense.
Looking at how our industrial real estate market performed in Q2 2015 provides us with some clear insights into why Central PA is such an attractive location for “Big Box” warehouse and multi-tenant logistics users around the world – and growing! Let’s take a look at what the numbers tell us.
Select Top Under-Construction Properties
Four of the top five Select Under-Construction Properties this quarter are located in the Central PA submarket. Combined, ProLogis Shippensburg, Nordstrom Distribution Center, ProLogis Carlisle – Building 1 and LogistiCenter Carlisle – Building 2 total more than 4 million square feet of new industrial space that will be delivered to the market between next quarter and Q2 2016. These high profile projects are an exciting sign of a growing and thriving industrial market here in Central PA.
Select Year-to-Date Deliveries:
Year-to-date, the Central Pennsylvania submarket has delivered over 1.7 million square feet of new industrial space. The property delivered specifically this quarter is located at 561 S. Muddy Creek Road in East Cocalico Township, Lancaster. This is the new location of Pet Food Experts’ $12 million, 197,000 square foot facility that is 100% occupied.
In Q2, we experienced a substantial decrease in vacancy that resulted in a vacancy rate of 4.7%. Having fallen from 5.2% last quarter, this dip is the first we have been below 5% since 2008. In fact, back through 2011 we have most commonly seen vacancy rates in the high 7% and low 8%. This trend is sure to have impact in other areas of the market as well.
Absorption and Demand:
The net absorption decreased from last quarter’s 2,908,709 square feet to 1,423,990 square feet this quarter. Given last quarter delivered three new buildings and this quarter delivered just one, this is an appropriate net absorption for the quarter that does not signal a red flag
For the first time since Q4 2009, the quoted rental rate has exceeded $4.00 a square-foot, coming in at $4.07 for Q2 2015. This $0.13 increase to last quarter’s quoted rental rate of $3.94 is certainly connected to the decrease in vacancy that is also at a recent record low.
Central PA is considered one of the premier “Big Box” industrial and multi-tenant logistics markets because of the area’s affordable cost of living, raw land and non-union labor. Additionally, the governmental approvals required for warehousing and distribution are comparatively easy and straightforward compared to other states or regions
As far as location, it is a central hub where products can be easily distributed throughout the northeast United States (via I-81, I-83, and I-78) and has seen significant capital invested for expansion of its intermodal system. Central PA also offers easy access to Port of Baltimore, MD and Port of Elizabeth, NJ and is within a one-day drive to 40% of the nation’s population
Now having gained an understanding of just why Central PA makes such an attractive spot for industrial businesses, we can connect the dots as to what the market growth and demand we experienced in the second quarter means for our overall economic health.
Most importantly, this data means that businesses are continuing to move into the area, particularly “Big Box” businesses that rely heavily on distribution. With over 4 million square-feet currently under construction and the highest rental rate in six years, this trend has lasting power. These growing businesses will likely fuel the local area with jobs, spending and an increase in transportation along our highways. Overall, we should feel excited and hopeful about these market trends. Any cons to industrial growth will most certainly be outweighed by the pros!
How will the growth of the local industrial real estate market impact you or your business? Share your personal insights – or ask a question by commenting below!