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  • Writer's pictureTom Miller, CCIM

Industrial Real Estate – What Is It?

Most people are familiar with residential real estate and the properties that make up this type of real estate, but that familiarity  tends to end when it comes to commercial real estate. It’s an area that encompasses industrial real estate, among others, which is highly specialized and therefore less understood. Here’s what to know about industrial real estate.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is built and used for the sole purpose of business and is made up of three main property types: office, retail, and industrial. When people think of commercial real estate, they usually think of offices they work in and the stores and restaurants in which they shop and eat. More often than not, people aren’t thinking about industrial properties, which means they’re missing an entire segment of the industry.

Industrial Real Estate

So what is industrial real estate? It sounds pretty straightforward: large, plain buildings in industrial parks on the outskirts of our cities and towns, right? Actually, industrial property covers a large range of sizes and many different business operations.

Just as commercial real estate has three types, industrial does as well. There are three main types of industrial properties:

  1. Manufacturing: Manufacturing facilities are the locations where products are produced and assembled. Heavy manufacturing facilities are most often built specifically for the manufacturer and require major modifications or a full renovation for a new user. Picture the TESLA Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada – if a new company wanted to use that building to produce anything besides cars and batteries, the building would likely need a full retrofit before the incoming company could begin its own production. As a side note, light assembly buildings are where companies assemble smaller parts into the final product.

  2. Storage & Distribution: Storage and distribution warehouses center on storing and shipping goods. These facilities are structured to efficiently store product from the manufacturer and then distribute it to clients and retail customers. High ceilings, efficient sprinkler systems, adequate truck courts, and a sufficient number of dock high doors are important factors in a storage and distribution use.

  3. Flex Space: Flex space is short for flexible space. A flex building consists of many suites in the same building rather than one freestanding unit. The majority of warehouse users who do not fall into the manufacturing or storage/distribution categories are flex users – some of these uses may include auto and body shops, tile and carpet showrooms, printers, and specialty shops. Flex space is also a great place for a start-up company to rent their first warehouse since they can expand into the adjacent suites as their space needs increase.

These brief overviews of industrial property have likely given you an idea of where to start your search, but an experienced team of industrial experts can make the process faster, smoother, and much more efficient. Give Beki Dobson and Ali Forma at Miller Industrial Properties a call today at (775) 828-4665.

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Miller Industrial Properties, Sparks, Reno, Nevada
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