While most other segments of the national construction industry have seen notable declines in activity since the COVID-19 outbreak, new warehouse projects remain a bright spot, say analysts.
In a new report, the San Francisco-based real estate investment trust Prologis is reporting not only that the warehouse boom has remained strong for most of 2020, but that there is currently a need for at least 400 million square feet of new warehouse space in the next three years.
The demand, continues the report, is reflective of both “higher e-commerce volumes and higher inventory levels.”
One of the leading players in the field is online giant Amazon, which is enjoying record-breaking sales since the COVID-19 outbreak and needs new space to process hundreds of millions of customer orders.
Just two months ago, the online retailer announced plans to build a 465,000 square foot multi-level fulfillment center in Albuquerque. The company is also in the process of planning for an additional similar-sized center in El Paso.
But some of the new warehouse projects having nothing at all to do with Amazon.
Earlier this spring, the Atlanta-based Stonemount Financial group announced it is building a 230,000 square foot industrial complex in McKinney, Texas that will include 125,000 square feet of warehouse space for a chemicals company based in Mexico.
Work has already begun on the Elwood Logistics Center in Goodyear, Arizona, a 1.3 million square foot facility with warehouse space for anyone who wants it.
Increasingly, new warehouse projects are not just cavernous buildings with a lot of space, but structures built for high-tech needs including the use of mobile robots, and filled with modern equipment, cables, and wires.
“Even before the pandemic, the gradual drift of shopping online was making warehouses an attractive bet,” notes the Wall Street Journal. “Now these unglamorous sheds increasingly look like trophy assets.”
By Garry Boulard
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