March 29, 2018
An aging U.S. warehouse inventory that does not meet the needs of today’s logistics tenants is creating new development opportunities nationwide. Although 1 billion sq. ft. of modern warehouse space was built over the past 10 years, it accounts for only 11% of the country’s total warehouse inventory (9.1 billion sq. ft.), which is becoming increasingly obsolete at an average age of 34 years. Nearly 1 billion sq. ft. of total warehouse inventory is more than 50 years old and has clear heights of less than 20 feet—well below logistics tenant requirements. Warehouses built since 2008 are generally three times larger than older ones and account for only 4% of the nation’s total number of buildings.
Markets with the newest warehouses tend to have ample developable land and are near major population centers, while markets with the oldest warehouses tend to serve heavy industrial and shipping centers. Given the low share of modern warehouse space and the rise of e-commerce, there’s ample opportunity to develop new warehouses and rebuild physically obsolete ones in the best infill locations.