Industrial Real Estate: The Bright Point of CRE

The pandemic put a massive damper on many industries — in particular, travel and tourism, hospitality and entertainment, and commercial real estate. As other asset classes like office and retail struggled with stay-at-home orders and virtually no traffic, industrial real estate likely advanced even further into the future than it otherwise would have during normal times. That’s because e-commerce has been expanding for a decade and is now being powered by next- or even same-day delivery and curbside pick-up — two features that are very attractive to people who are stuck in their houses.

And, while construction in many sectors has been slowed or halted altogether, construction of industrial buildings is set to be strong this year. In fact, using data from their sister division CommercialEdge, an analysis by CommercialSearch indicates that the amount of industrial square footage set to hit the U.S. market this year will be the highest in the last five years. Much of the expansion is focused on southern markets with a few regional hubs seeing their share, as well.

Industrial Properties Offer Investors More Stability in Unstable Environments

Industrial real estate incorporates many different types of industries, businesses and uses. During the pandemic, many of those industries dealt with challenges that had not been seen before — such as manufacturing facilities operating with fewer personnel on the floor due to social distancing protocols.

However, many of these businesses were able to maintain their operations because the nature of the job was considered essential. In fact, some businesses even thrived. Consequently, with more people staying home and ordering online, online retailers, order fulfillment centers, and shipping and logistics companies were not only busy, but they were also expanding.

Notably, shipping and receiving facilities, fulfilment centers and trucking companies are more socially 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 completion this year will either be occupied or owned outright by Amazon. Of these, just four properties constructed by Amazon will stretch across 14.8 million square feet, with another 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: Austin’s new Giga Texas Tesla manufacturing facility and Project Rodeo, Amazon’s new facility in Colorado Springs. In contrast, last year, the largest industrial property completed 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 overnight, 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 different. 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 adequate 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.

Most Industrial Space to Hit Market in 5 Years

So, with all this demand, will the supply that’s coming online this year be enough? If not, it won’t be for lack of trying. This year, 342 million square feet of industrial space is set to be completed — a 24 percent increase over last year and the most in the last five years. All that space will be spread across more than 1,000 properties that would occupy a space the size of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

And, while most of this inventory is spread around the country, the south and western markets seem to be getting the largest pieces of the pie. Specifically, the top three Texas markets of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston and Austin are all in the top 10, with Phoenix; Inland Empire, Calif.; and Atlanta joining them.

Industrial is Big in Texas — and Growing

Specifically, the market that is adding the most industrial square footage is DFW — and by quite a large margin: The metroplex will add 28 million square feet of industrial space across nearly 80 properties. In fact, this one market alone will account for eight percent of all the industrial space added this year in the entire country.

Meanwhile, Austin is set to add 10.4 million square feet of industrial space, which is more than 500 percent more space than it added last year. However, Elon Musk and his 4-million-square-foot Giga Factory and Seefried’s 3.8-million-square-foot Amazon distribution center are adding more than half of the total Austin square footage.

And, although Houston is adding 7 million square feet less than it did last year, it’s still good enough to make the top 10. Despite the decline in the oil and gas industry (which hit the city hard), the city is adding 10.3 million square feet of industrial space this year. Even so, Houston does still seem to be bleeding market share to other Texas markets, like DFW and Austin.

Think Realty. (2021, June 1). Industrial Real Estate:  The Bright Point of CRE [News post]. Retrieved from

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Big Industrial Developments In DFW Show Ongoing Confidence In Market’s Bandwidth

As 2019 comes to an end, industrial spec building and acquisition activity in DFW remains red-hot with investors and developers prowling to develop large warehouses, urban infill and other industrial commercial real estate product. Big Industrial Developments In DFW Show Ongoing Confidence In Market’s Bandwidth Flickr/Mark Hunter DFW is building more industrial assets than any other U.S. metropolitan area, with 39M SF of industrial space under construction, according to a recent CoStar report. Large additions to that pipeline keep coming, such as Black Creek Group’s Monday groundbreaking on 570K SF in South Fort Worth. “We have evolved into a world-class industrial market when you look at all of the connectivity we have with the airport, the rail infrastructure we built over the last 15 years, with the [International] Inland Port [of Dallas] and Alliance Airport … and just the confluence of highways that have made DFW one of the rising stars of the industrial market,” CoStar Director of Market Analytics Paul Hendershot said. With such strong demand, the DFW industrial market is on course to reach 20M SF of net absorption for its fourth year in a row, JLL reported in its third-quarter Industrial Insight report. Demand for space in industrial continues to offset supply increases with the region’s total vacancy rate hovering at a modest 6.6% in Q3, JLL said. While some asset classes may fear oversaturation and supply fears heading into a new year, investors and developers believe DFW’s industrial market faces a much longer and safer runway even if the economy slows in 2020. “My bet is over the long-term there is still much more industrial that needs to be built to service the way people are going about their lives,” Fort Capital Chief Investment Officer and CEO Chris Powers said. “For everything that is brought online, it needs to pass through some type of industrial facility to get to its final destination.” Fort Capital has been buying up Class-B industrial buildings in urban core areas. This month it acquired 10 light industrial buildings totaling 455K SF in the Great Southwest Industrial submarket in Arlington, and has stated its intention to buy millions more square feet in the next two years. Big Industrial Developments In DFW Show Ongoing Confidence In Market’s Bandwidth Courtesy of M2G Ventures Rendering of M2G Venture’s North Quarter 35 Industrial Development in North Fort Worth. The most recent new project announcement came Monday from M2G Ventures, which showed it remains optimistic about North Fort Worth’s industrial potential. The development company, which is more widely known for redeveloping The Foundry District near Downtown Fort Worth, plans to build a 640K SF Class-A industrial complex with four buildings at 10705 North Freeway in Fort Worth, near the intersection of Interstate 35 and Golden Triangle Boulevard. Known as North Quarter 35, the project is a short drive from DFW International and Alliance Airport. The areas within 5 miles of each airport have been the hottest industrial development markets in the Metroplex. M2G Ventures co-President Jessica Miller Essl said the building’s look, conceptualized by GSR Andrade Architects Inc., is modern and chic with a design aesthetic that is more polished than a standard run-of-the-mill industrial building. M2G Ventures is not the only developer betting on Fort Worth. Denver-based Black Creek Group just launched construction on a three-building industrial complex known as Carter Logistics Center in South Fort Worth. The site, located near Interstates 35 West and 20, will bring another 569K SF of industrial space into the firm’s current DFW holdings, which total approximately 6M SF. “With the South Fort Worth submarket boasting strong industrial fundamentals and solid demand for modern, Class-A space, we believe Carter Logistics Center is well‐positioned for success and we continue to look for developments like this to increase our presence in such a solid market,” Black Creek Group Senior Managing Director for the South Central Region Mace McClatchy said in a press release. Black Creek Group’s three industrial warehouses will feature 32-foot clear heights and at least 180-foot truck courts, the company said. While spec building requires a certain amount of risk-taking, the data available shows new product is unlikely to face market volatility on the industrial side. “I would consider us a growing market, but not an overheated market,” Hendershot said. “It’s not immune to economic cycles, but [industrial has] definitely benefited from e-commerce and the restructuring of retail more than any other sector, and I think that will continue to help bolster this sector in the near and the long term.”

Bisnow. (2019, December 4). Big Industrial Developments In DFW Show Ongoing Confidence In Market’s Bandwidth [Blog post]. Retrieved from


DFW Industrial Market Today Is More Competitive With Infill Sites Harder To Find

The Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market is known for being red-hot and flush with enough land to accommodate ongoing spec and build-to-suit development, but at least one of those factors is gradually declining. Commercial real estate experts say DFW’s industrial sector remains highly competitive with growing e-commerce demand forcing businesses to nab warehouse space to compete in the last-mile delivery space. But quality land deals, particularly infill sites, are much harder to come by with everyone on the hunt.

“Everybody is looking for value-add industrial. The question is does it really exist?” LanCarte Commercial founder Sarah LanCarte said while speaking on Bisnow’s DFW Industrial Deep Dive webinar. There are still some quality infill sites primed for redevelopment for smaller-sized deals, LanCarte said. But those deals usually require a high level of creativity and repurposing. She has seen a former Toys R Us location turned into a smaller regional distribution center, and there’s plenty of potentials for former large-box mall retail sites to be repurposed into last-mile industrial space, she added. But there are lingering questions about how many adaptive reuse industrial assets will easily convert and pencil out, LanCarte noted. “Are there going to be value-add opportunities turning smaller retailers into flex space? Some are believers, and some are not.”

Peinado Construction Chief Revenue Officer Robert Shelton said he is seeing more redevelopment work associated with infill spaces as the industrial sector remains on overdrive. A mixture of more competition for assets, declining land site availability and harder to develop reuse projects are creating a competitive landscape on the investor and developer side. “We have been spoiled because we had it easier, and now it’s a little bit harder to find competitive sites,” Transwestern regional partner Denton Walker said. “It comes down to who can execute and no question, it is very competitive.” Adding to that competitive equation is the issue of dealing with cities on entitlements, a process that requires infill industrial developers to be much more aggressive and patient today, Walker said. Land sites may be declining, but industrial specialists still see an abundance of development activity in the Great Southwest, the South DFW Airport area, South Dallas, parts of McKinney, North Fort Worth and parts of Denton County. Overall, e-commerce is keeping the market heated even as the coronavirus has cooled other real estate sectors. “You can’t overstate the impact e-commerce has had on the industrial market these past five years and what that impact will be in the next 10 to 20 years,” Black Creek Group Senior Vice President Mace McClatchy said. “We have been very blessed in the industrial sector.”

Biznow. By Kerri Panchuk (2020, September 24). Coronavirus Pandemic Lifts Drones Higher In The Construction Chain Of Command [News post]. Retrieved from

BizNow. (2020, April 7). There May Be CRE Opportunity Post-Coronavirus, If We Can Find Out What Anything Is Worth [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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There May Be CRE Opportunity Post-Coronavirus, If We Can Find Out What Anything Is Worth

The commercial real estate market is in limbo, with developers waiting to see if opportunities for low-interest rate refinancing and acquisitions bubble to the surface. But, the timeline for finding these opportunities in the post-COVID-19 landscape remains murky at best, especially as valuations are difficult to pin down.

It’s likely to stay this way until the timeline for curtailing the impact of the coronavirus becomes more apparent, giving appraisers the data needed to make true property valuations, National Valuation Consultants Senior Managing Director Chuck Dannis and Dreien Opportunity Partners CEO Sam Ware said during Bisnow’s “Weathering A Downturn” webinar Tuesday. “Appraisers are just going to have to wait,” Dannis said. “They are going to have to look for other things than just sales [as part of their valuations], which appraisers normally do. I think it’s pretty naive to think that values are not changing as we speak.” A guidepost for what the COVID-19 downturn might look like is the 2008-2009 recession. But, there is one major difference between that economic meltdown and the COVID-19 crisis, Dannis said. While the ’08-’09 recession was caused by investors marking down assets and pushing up cap rates to deal with increased market risk, the coronavirus downturn is the result of market uncertainty over a disease that will end at some point.

“What I think we are going to see this time is just a sudden and precipitous, unprecedented drop in net income in a lot of the property types — hospitality, student housing, senior housing and the restaurant business,” Dannis said. “This time I think we are going to have income shock … and so if, we don’t even change the rates, property values are going to come down.” Ware agreed that while on the surface cash flow and income disruptions devalue properties, the temporal nature of the COVID-19 crisis and the underpinnings of the economy make it difficult to predict a property’s value several months from now. If an appraiser hypothetically completed a $200M valuation in December, the historic metrics for deciding value would likely show the same property’s value down by June because of the market disruption, Ware said. But with this downturn more of an economic delay than a financial disruption, Ware doesn’t believe true market value is lost, particularly when demand and supply were strong right before the crisis. “I use the word pause because to me the word pause is a positive adjective. It’s a pause,” Ware said of the economy. If there is one hidden boon in all of this madness, Ware, who specializes in office redevelopment, predicts developers may soon find opportunities to acquire assets at reasonable prices and to benefit from declining construction. “I do see a pause in new construction for office buildings from this point forward,” Ware said. “I think existing becomes much more valuable, which I, of course, like the empties. I don’t like new construction.”

BizNow. (2020, April 7). There May Be CRE Opportunity Post-Coronavirus, If We Can Find Out What Anything Is Worth [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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Real estate agents adapt to coronavirus with virtual tours, other creative ways to do business

Real estate companies are struggling to adapt to a new business environment with reduced person-to-person contact.

Most brokers and agents are working from home, and many are conducting business remotely.

Residential agents are giving virtual tours of properties and directing clients to online listings.

“We will be conducting virtual tours of Hall Arts Residences via Facetime and other comparable technologies,” Briggs Freeman’s Kyle Richards, who is marketing the new downtown condo tower, said in an email.

Tod Franklin of DFW City Homes said agents are looking for ways to protect buyers and sellers from coronavirus.

“I have many buyers and sellers that just can’t pause because they have immediate housing needs,” Franklin said. “Also many that don’t want to miss the low interest-rate opportunity.”

Even so, almost half of residential agents say that buyer interest has decreased due to the coronavirus outbreak, the National Association of Realtors reported.

“The decline in confidence related to the direction of the economy coupled with the unprecedented measures taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, including major social distancing efforts nationwide, are naturally bringing an abundance of caution among buyers and sellers,” Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

Commercial agents are adapting, too.

More than half of the Realtors associations’ commercial members have seen a decline in leasing clients.

And Yardi Systems’ reports that traffic to the firm’s apartment finding website dropped by a quarter in the last week.

“Our professionals, working hand-in-hand with our clients, are finding ways to manage through these difficult days by modifying meeting protocols, touring properties with smaller groups and finding ways to keep moving forward,” Brett White, executive chairman and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, said in a letter to clients.

“At the same time, we are adhering to important public health restrictions and recommendations. “In some jurisdictions, we know that business-as-usual simply isn’t possible and that managing through this disruption is a daily undertaking.”

Dallas Morning News. (2020, March 23). Real estate agents adapt to coronavirus with virtual tours, other creative ways to do business [News post]. Retrieved from

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Dallas developer plans 2,000-plus homes for $950M master-planned community in Midlothian

A Dallas-based real estate developer has acquired 966 acres of land in Midlothian for a $950 million master-planned residential community with thousands of homes.

Hanover Property Co. on Monday announced the acquisition of the land at the northeast corner of Highway 287 and Walnut Grove Road, about 30 minutes south of downtown Dallas. 

Plans for the property include 2,000 single-family homes priced from the $300,000s,160 townhomes, 26 acres of commercial and 42 acres of industrial development. Pre-development is underway, and the first homes will be available by early 2022, the company said.

The development’s name and builders for the first phase, which will consist of 350 homes, will be announced later this year.

Ben Luedtke, executive vice president of Hanover, said the company has been working with the city of Midlothian for the last year on planning the development.

“The city is a great partner, and the result is the first true master-planned community of this size in Midlothian,” Luedtke said in a prepared statement. ”There is substantial tree coverage, gentle rolling hills, and a 50-acre lake. We will thoughtfully enhance the natural beauty that is already in place.”

Hanover is developing multiple master-planned communities in North Texas, including Somerset (487 acres, 1,105 lots) and M3 Ranch (720 acres, 1,571 lots) in Mansfield; and Berkshire (358 acres, 641 lots) and Wellington (610 acres, 1,680 lots) in north Fort Worth. The company is also the developer of the Mira Lagos community in Grand Prairie.

Midlothian has been one of the most dynamic growth areas of the southern DFW new home market, with 511 housing starts last year, Ted Wilson of market research firm Residential Strategies said.

“As land and development costs have risen, it has become increasingly challenging for developers to produce lots that can translate into the $275,000 to $400,000 home price — the historical ‘sweet spot’ for Midlothian new home construction,” Wilson said in a statement.

JLL Capital Markets Managing Directors Michael Swaldi and Larry McCorkle and Director Nick Hayden marketed the property on behalf of the seller, ECOM Real Estate. JLL International Director Paul Whitman represented Hanover. 

The project team also includes MESA as the landscape architect and land planner and LJA Engineering.

Midlothian will also be the site of a massive data center that Google is building. The company is putting $600 million in the Ellis County facility and is creating construction and ongoing jobs at the site.

Dallas Business Journal. (2020, February 4). Dallas developer plans 2,000-plus homes for $950M master-planned community in Midlothian [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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