Tom Miller, CCIM
2 Keys to Warehouse Shopping in 2017
Upgrades, Upgrades, Upgrades
There are standard features in today’s warehouses, and then there are upgrades. These may include but are not limited to:
A healthy number of oversized truck docks
Oversized trailer and chassis storage courts
Eave heights soaring 40’
The highest available bandwidth
The highest fire sprinkler ratings
In an effort to stay competitive, developers today are routinely including these upgrades. And it makes sense. The death blow to a warehouse can be its odds of becoming obsolete just a few years after it’s built. Ask about standard features, certainly, but inquire as well about upgrades that make a given property far more flexible.
Don’t Overlook LEED Certification
Consider it the ultimate upgrade. Today, developers are reaching LEED silver status certification almost as a matter of course, with Gold an occasional bonus. Yes, there are shortcomings to LEED certification, but it can’t be denied that it has helped produce some of the most energy efficient warehouse ever made available for public use.
It’s the rare client who makes a point of asking about upgrades and a building’s flexibility, or about LEED certification, or even about a building’s age. Along with terms and pricing, these should be among the most important questions that a potential buyer or tenant could think to ask.
This is likely because people tend to think in terms of today, and not how things may change in the future. When you pose this as a question, it gives you a perspective that might be incredibly useful. You may not need 40′ eave heights today, but might you possibly need them in the future? Even if your business might not need this feature, might it become a wonderful incentive for someone considering buying your building or, perhaps, your business?
Keep in mind, there is no debate that LEED status brings not only a large tax savings, but lower NNN fees to the tenant, which lowers fixed operating costs. Many of the upgrades in today’s warehouses – new lighting technologies, high-efficiency heating systems, improved wall insulation, LED fixtures with motion sensors, etc. – also provide notably lower operating costs.
When it comes time to look for warehouse space, don’t pin everything on price per square foot. Ask specifically about a pricing upgrade into those top Class A spaces with their flexibility and LEED statuses. You may well surprise your agent with your understanding, and you’ll likely be surprised yourself with the answers.