The Need for Speed

We have the need for SPEED once again! The Industrial Real Estate Market has returned to the days when the “how soon” question comes before the “how much does it cost” question. Developers are building speculative space again and Build-to-Suit projects are still going strong. Supply is growing, but vacancy rates are still dropping. We have always been firm believers in the notion that you can’t sell any corn flakes if you don’t have any on the shelf. We have been filling our shelves by building multiple speculative industrial buildings in the same park simultaneously, but that is not enough. Some projects, particularly on the manufacturing side, have unique requirements that are not included in speculative buildings. The process layout or other technical considerations can drive the project to specific requirements. That is why, in addition to our speculative Finish-to-Suit Industrial Buildings that can be fit up in 60 days, we have also invested in pre-graded, and fully permitted sites with building plans that are flexible and can be adapted to the particular Build-to-Suit project needs using the in-hand permit. This can save three to six months in the project schedule. If your build-to-suit project can use our prototype quick-ship building with minor modifications, it is possible to get a customized build-to-suit facility in 6 months. The process efficiencies gained for years and years into the future amply repay the time it takes to get it right.

The above scenario recently unfolded on a project in North Carolina. The Build-to-Suit client was fully expecting a year or more to construct their new facility. When they realized we could deliver them a facility in half that time, they went back and got commitments from their equipment suppliers to deliver the process equipment sooner so they could start reaping the benefits of the new facility even sooner.

Having a permit in hand is not exactly a magic wand, but it is close! With a pr e-graded fully permitted site, all the major risk factors for unknown conditions that cost time and money are eliminated. Most clients are aware of problems hidden under the dirt, but sometimes even more challenging and less predictable these days can be the permitting process itself. Some jurisdictions add 6 months to a project schedule to get the necessary approvals. Having the permit in hand and being able to immediately mobilize and begin installing foundations is a game changer. That is why we don’t call our pre-graded sites “pad sites” (which is a label hung on any flat spot of dirt), we call them “foundation-ready sites”.  Can you dig it?

“Joe Hollingsworth participated as one of our first equity investors. In addition, Joe Hollingsworth has served as a board member and leading advisor for strategic planning and direction.” — Scott Kelley, President and CEO, Service Center Metals