Jeff Milanaik, partner, Northeast region, Bridge Development Partners (Parsippany)
Even if and when a COVID-19 vaccine arrives, I believe we’ll continue to see social distancing, mask-wearing and appropriate workspace protocol — such as daily on-site health surveys, temperature scans and sanitizing stations — for the foreseeable future. The pandemic has expedited e-commerce’s already rapid growth, and we’re seeing higher demand for industrial facilities than almost ever before. Because of those dynamics, we’ll need to alter the design of these developments to separate different core components within warehousing spaces, reducing density and accommodating social distancing guidelines in the process. We could also begin to see more contactless doors being installed, as well as upgraded air filtration systems. For the same reasons, we’re incorporating more square footage for designated office space within these buildings, and are seeing requests from large e-commerce tenants for increased vehicle and delivery truck parking. We expect even smaller shipping and logistics players will require similar expansions as last-mile delivery needs continue to grow.