Amid the many negative impacts of the pandemic is at least one positive: the boon that social distancing and stay-at-home orders represented for e-commerce. That in turn has accelerated demand in the industrial sector across all asset classes and locations.
In his recent travels, Sentry Commercial president Mark Duclos has seen that industrial brokers were “dancing in the streets,” at least when it comes to the e-commerce aspect of their business. Duclos, who’s also the current president of SIOR Global, made this observation during the course of Connect Media’s “Connect Industrial Leaders” webinar, now available for replays.
For this conversation, moderated by Transwestern executive managing director Walter Byrd, Duclos was joined by four other key players in the space: Kim Snyder, president, West region at Prologis; Matthew Chapman, managing director, investments, West region for Link Industrial Real Estate; Erin Poulson Morris, director of business development at Wonderful Real estate Development; and Gary Jaye, Americas head of commercial acquisitions at CBRE Global Investors.
While acknowledging that there were “headwinds” in e-commerce-related industrial, Snyder said, “we’re relatively bullish about the space.” As a case in point, Chapman noted that e-commerce-related credit card transactions were up 60% year-over-year. He expects this pace to continue, although the business might not all be going to Amazon in the future.
If e-commerce has ramped up demand, it has also put pressure on supply for both owner-developers and tenants. There’s also the varying impact of e-commerce on the brick-and-mortar operations of retail tenants.
“Folks are just looking for any available space they can to store goods at this point,” said Poulson Morris. It’s a challenge that larger tenants are having an easier time meeting, Snyder observed.
Accordingly, there’s a real impetus to build, panelists agreed. “With everything going on in the market, it’s a good time to hit the ground,” Poulson Morris said.
Despite potential headwinds that at the moment include the outcome of the upcoming election as well as the course of the pandemic, panelists were confident that industrial’s long run will continue for the foreseeable future. “It feels like we’re just at the beginning,” said Jaye.
Replays of the webinar are available by clicking on the link below.
Pictured: Prologis’ LAX Logistics Center.
Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism.
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