Top 10 Companies Leading the Industrial Real Estate Recovery

10. Skechers, Moreno Valley Calif., distribution center, 1.82 million sq. ft.

Skechers is the United States’ No. 2 footwear company. This warehouse, opened in 2012, allowed Skechers to consolidate six different centers into one in SoCal that’s so big it takes half a minute to drive from one end to the other at 60 mph. Most of the distribution is automated, and the building is so green that it uses prevailing winds for ventilation instead of air conditioning.

9. Giti Tire, Charlotte, N.C., build-to-suit, 1.8 million sq. ft.

When the Singapore-headquartered Giti Tire Group decided to bring its tire manufacturing business to the U.S., the firm built a 1.8-million-sq.-ft. facility just outside Charlotte, N.C. The move provides further proof that the Carolinas region is fast becoming a top industrial real estate competitor, due to its ability to attract foreign manufacturing businesses.

8. Grocers Supply Co., Houston, Pinto Business Park, warehouse, 1.7 million sq. ft.

Last May, Houston-based wholesale food distributor Grocers Supply Co. announced its plan to consolidate its various existing operations into a massive warehouse and distribution facility at Pinto Business Park. The center will be built on 159 acres. Phase I is expected to be ready for move-in by late 2015. The developers are the locally-based Hines and Pinto Realty Partners and New York City-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP. Grocers Supply’ will move its produce and banana warehouses and meat facility to the campus, and eventually its headquarters as well. Grocers Supply is one of Houston’s largest private employers, operating 15 distribution facilities and a fleet of more than 200 tractors and 850 trailers.

7. Proctor & Gamble, Atlanta, expansion of existing location, 1 million sq. ft. and Dallas/Ft. Worth, distribution center 1.6 million sq. ft.

The biggest warehouse under construction in North Texas, built by California-based Panattoni Development Co., is leased to consumer products giant Procter & Gamble. Panattoni built the huge warehouse in partnership with California State Teachers Retirement System. It’s in a popular industrial facility area, where Whirpool has its regional warehouse, Ace Hardware just opened its new regional distribution center and Kimberly-Clark and Georgia Pacific are looking at new warehouse locations.

6. Publix Supermarkets, Orlando, Fla., distribution center, 1.6 million sq. ft.

In October 2014, Publix opened a 1 million-sq.-ft. refrigerated distribution center west of Orlando International Airport. The facility is designed to increase the company’s ability to effectively deliver cold storage groceries including produce, frozen foods and dairy products to its central Florida stores.

5. Krogers Supermarkets, Atlanta, distribution center, 1.5 million sq. ft.

Kroger Co., the largest grocery store chain in the United States, has a new $225 million 1.5 million-sq.-ft. development outside Atlanta, including a distribution center, freezer facility and truck maintenance facility.

4. Nike, Memphis, Tenn., manufacturing distribution center, 1.1 million sq. ft. plus 1.3 million-sq.-ft. expansion

Nike Inc. is expanding its Memphis distribution center by 1.3 million sq. ft. The project, located on New Frayser Blvd. in North Memphis and said to cost $276 million, is to be the centerpiece of the company’s distribution network. The facility will give Nike a total of 2.8 million sq. ft. in Memphis, from which it will ship footwear, apparel and equipment across the country; the expansion will also add 275 local jobs. Meanwhile, Nike is also retrofitting and upgrading its facility at 5151 Shelby Drive in Memphis, at a cost of $25 million. Nike will end its 812,697-sq.-ft. lease at 8400 Winchester Rd. and incorporate those jobs in the upgraded Shelby Drive facility. Nike is investing $301 million in both projects, and received a 15-year tax abatement that will save it $57 million in taxes, while generating $105.3 million in new tax dollars. Photo: Getty Images

3. Ashley Furniture, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, N.C., 1.2 million-sq.-ft. expansion

Ashley Furniture Industries’ 1.2-million-sq.-ft. expansion project at its $80 million mid-Atlantic manufacturing and distribution facility is slated to create 550 jobs over five years and solidify the Wisconsin-based company’s presence on the East Coast.

2. Volvo, Memphis, Tenn., distribution center, 1 million sq. ft.

The Volvo Group is building a 1 million-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art Central Parts Distribution Center in Byhalia, Miss., opening soon, to employ 250 people. The center will support its Mack, Volvo and UD truck brands, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta. The facility will be located inside Panattoni Development Co.’s Gateway Global Logistics Center, a 1,500-acre industrial development that straddles Fayette County, Tenn., and Marshall County, Miss. The facility will serve as the centerpiece of the company’s streamlined North American parts distribution network. While the new facility will mainly support Volvo’s North American customers, its proximity to logistics hubs such as Memphis means it will be able to export products to other regions. Photo: Mark Renders/Getty Images

1. Clorox, Baltimore, 1 million sq. ft. distribution warehouse

Speculative construction since the recession has been rare, except when it comes to industrial real estate. Clorox Co. has signed a 10-year lease on a new 1 million-sq.-ft. build-to-suit distribution warehouse in Aberdeen, Md., in Harford County. The facility opened this past summer, marking an expansion for Clorox, which left a 644,000-sq.-ft. warehouse elsewhere in Aberdeen. The new warehouse marks an expansion for Clorox, which will depart the 644,000-square-foot warehouse at 500 Old Post Road in Aberdeen that the company has occupied since 2001. Meanwhile, Clorox will continue to occupy its 350,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant nearby. “We made the decision to transition to a larger facility to support our future growth, and we’re pleased to reaffirm our commitment to Harford County,” Aileen Zerrudo, a spokeswoman for Clorox said in a statement. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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