BY STEVE BERGSMAN
Since the onset of the Great Recession back in 2006, U.S. industry has been extremely frugal in terms of new investments. The continuing mindset has been to trim expenses, realign businesses, control costs and,
finally, to build up a nest of cash reserves.
Now that we’re a couple of years into a recovery, economic
growth has been steadily moving forward. This recovery has
not been America’s strongest though. As a result, Corporate
America has – slowly and steadily – begun to re-invest in
operations, expand business opportunities, and for all the
commercial real estate professionals out there, add millions of
square feet of new space.
For the first half of 2013, the country’s industrial market
showed strong recovery, with many individual metros showing
increased transaction volume and revenue, according to
Cushman & Wakefield. New industrial completions totaled
19. 7 million square feet at the end of the second quarter,
In the first wave of corporate expansion after the recession,
Corporate America leaned heavily toward expansion of
existing of facilities or further local expansion. These were
not necessarily small add-ons, but additions of hundreds of
thousands of square feet so the cities that were lucky enough
to hold onto certain industrial concerns through the downturn
have benefitted tenfold in the recovery.
Perhaps the most interesting example is a venue known more
for distribution than manufacturing, coastal Northeast Florida,
encompassing the cities of Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
Through its economic development agencies, Florida has been
aggressively trying to boost manufacturing in the state as these
jobs pay well, plus it would improve transportation costs for
distributors as trucks wouldn’t be leaving the state empty.
ONE OF THE SURPRISES IN THE RECENT ECONOMIC RECOVERY HAS BEEN MANUFACTURING.
ALTHOUGH THERE IS STILL CONSOLIDATION GOING ON, MANY AREAS OF THE COUNTRY ARE
REPORTING GROWTH IN THIS SECTOR. EXPANSION OF EXISTING FACILITIES WAS THE PRIMARY
FOCUS OF CORPORATE AMERICA. SOME OLDER MANUFACTURING REGIONS ARE EXPERIENCING
A RESURGENCE OF DEMAND.
THE STATE OF