2nd Quarter 2023
by Joe A. Hollingsworth, Jr.
“To Build or Not to Build” Speculative Warehouse and Manufacturing space…that is the question.
It’s a complex question. In the economies of the past it had to be decided by industrial developers based on the variables of geography, competing supply, estimated costs, needs of tenants. But the normal factors like economic conditions, regulations, and interest rates are being further complicated by additional variables. Let me just mention a few:
While the Federal Reserve is always late to the party, have you ever seen such poor management by the Reserve and the Treasury, specifically Powell and Yellen? A series of missteps.
When the Fed fails to react to normalize the economy for a sustained period of time then it almost universally overreacts. How much needless heartache does that lead to in the future?
The failure of three banks to date (and possibly several more) leads us to ask the question which banking institution is not upside down with bonds or treasuries in a rising interest rate environment and how does that effect CRE?
Does a failure to properly supervise particular banks, on the government’s part, lead to even more ridiculous regulation? Which was apparently not the solution before…
With all this chaos, does this mean local banking will be further reduced to only the mega banks with limited competition?
It seems like the odds are definitely increasing for recession and can we escape it?
As we increase Federal debt, are we not inviting crises more frequently and what will the next one look like?
Do the seemingly safe banks, relying on fully servicing wealthy clients, seem safe anymore when all the wealthy people are so willing to move their deposits so quickly?
Is any bank allowed to fail or are all depositors covered for any amount even if over $250,000?
In the history of the Fed, it has never lost money because it prints money but for the first time ever its now losing money.
How can any project successfully wrap up without paying premiums for supplies necessary? Is all this ESG pursuit related to “woke issues” dramatically effecting hard financial decisions?
The current stack of increasingly challenging questions, in addition to the ones that we have lived with as developers, are growing ever more intimidating. After decades of falling long-term interest rates and ever-increasing building codes and requirements, the numbers seemed to work to speculate in even marginal geographic areas or where you might be forced to compete with substantial more product. But as I’ve said in previous articles those days are gone, at least for the remaining years of this decade.
Without more clarity to the above questions Only the Boldest of Developers Proceed at this Point!
Prince George industrial park plans huge spec warehouse expansion
February 18, 2021
The Richmond market’s industrial real estate sector continues its strong start in 2021, with a complex in the region’s southern half set to expand by nearly 50 percent.
Tennessee-based The Hollingsworth Cos. is preparing to begin work on a 650,000-square-foot industrial building in the Southpoint Business Park in Prince George.
Located at 6162 Quality Drive, the park currently houses about 950,000 square feet of industrial space across 11 buildings on its 152 acres. Hollingsworth began developing the park 15 years ago, adding to a portfolio of 18 million square feet of industrial space, located mostly in the Southeast.
Tom Mann, a VP at Hollingsworth, said the new building will be built on spec, an approach he said has been fruitful for the company recently.
“A lot of our customers will see rapid growth, and we get a call right away because we have a building that’s almost ready,” Mann said. “When COVID hit we thought it’d grind to a halt. It ended up being the opposite. Retail declined but industrial picked that back up because people were ordering from home. 2020 was great for us because we had spec buildings out there.”
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