The timing for this burgeoning industry is not ideal; already low vacancy rates in strategically desirable industrial areas coupled with the continued growth of e-commerce has put pressure on cannabis operators to pony up higher than market rents, driving up square footage costs seemingly by the week. The need to secure property in order to be licensed to operate has thus far not dissuaded those willing to take on substantial financial risk in order to get a piece of this multi-billion dollar (and growing) industry.
It should come as no surprise that in light of COVID-19 related closures, e-commerce has become an ever more integral part of our daily lives. Retailers of household goods, groceries, essential items, as well as non-essential, have in trial by fire fashion been required to provide appropriate infrastructure to ensure said goods are made available for consumers nationwide. This not only requires robust technological platforms, but sophisticated distribution networks including delivery services and warehousing in near immediate fashion.
For the foreseeable future, it seems industrial will remain a hot market segment especially in areas that have high demand and limited land supply. As our society becomes more dependent on technology, so does the need for distribution centers and warehouses. It is important for big companies such as Amazon and Zappos, to have footprints in areas to service densely populated urban areas such as NYC.
The online e-commerce shopping boom sure has put a dent in retail and commercial real estate space as a whole, but is the damage getting worse or can industrial real estate bounce back and remain solid? The next downturn in CRE will be catalyzed initially by a stagnant economy and low growth, followed by multiple years of mild-to-escalating recession, credit re-rating, and demand for higher risk premiums by capital providers. Income growth will slow or go negative in the medium term, cap-rate compression will cease, and finding new tenants will be very difficult. With this happening, we will also witness aging demographics and subtle changes of consumption baskets and lifestyle, that revolutionize the format of office and retail.
Industrial rental rates have skyrocketed in urban areas due to the boom of e-commerce. The demand for third-party logistics, also known as 3PLs have increased substantially. This has driven up rental rates in the industrial market. The industrial market in New Jersey alone has increased 11% year over year. The question of sustainability of rental increases emerges.