CenterPoint’s Chief Development Officer, Michael Murphy, contributed to an article published by Avison Young about the state of industrial development and what lies ahead for CenterPoint and other national developers.
Read what Murphy, Jeff Dillon, Chief Operating Officer for VanTrust Real Estate, Don Schoenheider, Executive Vice President, Market Leader at Hillwood Investment Properties, and Jojo Yap, Chief Investment Officer for First Industrial Realty Trust, said in “National Industrial Developers Weigh In on Market Challenges.”
A wave of industrial construction is hitting the market at a time of moderating demand and ongoing economic uncertainty. Long-term industrial asset demand drivers remain strong, but tenants are taking longer to commit, and on some rare occasions, users are scaling back on space usage or waiting for more clarity on the economic before committing. In this issue, we talked with national development experts to find out how they are navigating these conditions and what’s ahead for the next 12 to 18 months.
The U.S. industrial sector is seeing a large wave of new deliveries at a time of ongoing economic uncertainty and a correlating slowdown in tenant demand. The outlook remains positive, but as total inventory growth continues to outpace historical trends, there are concerns about over-supply in some markets.
Avison Young reached out to several development experts to gauge their sentiment on market conditions and how they are navigating this challenging environment. While the short-term outlook is shaped by ongoing uncertainty about interest rates and other market indicators, there is significant optimism about the long-term demand drivers for industrial development. This is particularly true for coastal and port markets tied to expanding population centers.
“We continue to execute on our projects in process, where our investments are largely in land-constrained, coastal-oriented markets,” said Jojo Yap, Chief Investment Officer for First Industrial Realty Trust. “Future starts will be driven by leasing progress and an evaluation of submarket and macro dynamics.”
In the short-term, many developers are focused more closely on minimizing risk in development planning and construction and closely monitoring tenant demand indicators. “We’re focusing on port, rail, intermodal, and trucking activity and are listening to determine where tenants are seeing growth or contraction,” says Michael Murphy, Chief Development Officer with CenterPoint Properties, which had $190 million in new development starts in FY 2023, which ended June 30.
He added that CenterPoint is taking a more tactical and focused approach to new development opportunities in today’s economy. “For deals already in the pipeline, that means pushing rents where possible and being more strategic in finding tenants earlier in the development cycle.”
Where’s the spec?
Developers are also turning away from speculative development or pursuing it selectively based on market dynamics. Many are also being more flexible with their building designs. “We have consistently designed our speculative buildings for single-tenant or multi-tenant occupancy,” said Murphy. “In the past, market demand didn’t require us to divide buildings. However, we are now more receptive to dividing up a building for multiple tenants.”
About CenterPoint Properties
CenterPoint is an industrial real estate company made up of dedicated thinkers, innovators and leaders with the creativity and know-how to tackle the industry’s toughest challenges. And it’s those kinds of problems — the delicate, the complex, the seemingly impossible — that we relish most. Because with an agile team, substantial access to capital and industry-leading expertise, those are exactly the kinds of problems we’re built to solve. For more information on CenterPoint Properties, follow us on LinkedIn. For all media inquiries, including requests for interviews with CenterPoint executives, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 630.586.8285.