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The Industrial (R)Evolution

Dec. 09, 2020

By now, you are likely aware that industrial, warehouse and logistics properties are beginning to dismiss multifamily as the darling class of commercial real estate for investment and high growth futures.  Be it the mega-million square foot behemoths in Nashville, Atlanta, Dallas, or Orange County, the emerging concept of mini-DC’s (250K) in Boise, Sacramento, Portland, and the like, or “last mile” redevelopment in places like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Cleveland – the consumer demand fueling online retail and consumerism, in general, has given strong rise for developers to meet this demand.

Thus far, development and construction have been the easy part.  With nearly 25% more industrial square feet on the books over the past ten years, we as an industry must run and manage it.

At Ice Breaker Resources, we see a large shift towards adaptive and innovative asset management (not solely property management), similar to what we saw the multifamily space adopt in the mid-2000s.  Sophisticated investors demanded more highly transparent financial reporting, which ultimately led to greater asset management innovation to drive topline revenue.  In addition, more aggressive and creative ways to curb expenses and boost NOI was a necessity since all managers became relatively commoditized in their practices with each tenant.

Given what we’ve seen over the past twelve plus months and heading into 2021 regarding Industrial CRE professional roles, we expect to see more hires across the following disciplines: dynamic asset managers (perhaps stealing them away from Private Equity firms) and leasing executives with less emphasis on sheer deal-making (and more focus on analytics, expense management and decentralizing leasing to a more widely deployed “sales force” backed by communication modules). As assets age, design, redevelopment and even amenity packages are being discussed as a way to ensure renewals, expansion and higher rental rates with existing tenants.

If you’re looking to make some strategic hires in the Industrial CRE space in 2021, let’s set up some time to talk. Reach out to me at wpe@icebreakerresources.com

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