Developers across the U.S. are racing to build larger and more sophisticated warehouses, aiming to capitalize on retailers’ desire for ever-faster deliveries.
Property owners are competing for industrial space where companies can sort packages closer to urban consumers and deliver them more rapidly. To attract tenants, developers are offering a wide range amenities, like more loading docks, higher ceilings, hundreds of parking spaces, and stronger structures to support the movement of large volumes of goods.
They are also building warehouses higher than ever. Less than a year after Prologis Inc. opened the country’s first three-story warehouse in Seattle—a 589,615 square-foot facility that has ramps to the second-floor and a freight elevator to the third floor—developers in New York, North Carolina and Wisconsin are building the first ones with four stories.
“I think when it’s done, it will be an iconic building,” said Dov Hertz, president of DH Property, referring to a planned four-story Brooklyn warehouse in Sunset Industrial Park along the Gowanus Canal.
His firm and Bridge Development Partners LLC recently purchased an 18-acre site where they plan to demolish existing buildings to build a four-story, approximately 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center.