The Greater Charleston Industrial Market encompasses Berkley, Dorchester and Charleston counties and radiates out from the City of Charleston north and south along US 17 and west along I-26 to I-95. This market is divided into seven distinct sub-markets and is largely driven by activity through the Port of Charleston, the fourth busiest port in the nation. The Greater Charleston market is home to major manufacturers such as Bayer, Amoco and Nucor Steel, and industrial users include Standard Warehousing, Sam’s Wholesale Club and IKON fitness equipment. Although the Greater Charleston market has been predominantly a local distribution market, new development of bulk product has lured regional distribution facilities to the area. Recent growth in the market has occurred on the strength of speculative construction of both large bulk and small flex product.
The recently completed 2002 Colliers Keenan industrial survey was the first extensive survey conducted for the Greater Charleston Industrial Market. In seeking to establish a base inventory for the market, Colliers Keenan identified approximately 15,676,696 square feet of industrial space in seven sub-markets, excluding major manufacturing space. Vacancy among the properties surveyed was 3,339,023 square feet, representing a 21% overall market vacancy. Though the market vacancy rate is relatively high, it is consistent with vacancy rates reported in each of the past two years for a smaller survey of industrial space. The 2002 survey broke the industrial inventory into the three categories of bulk warehouse, distribution and flex products. The market contains 7,867,968 square feet of bulk space with 1,743,790 square feet or 22% vacant. Distribution space totals 5,307,984 square feet with 1,130,220 square feet or 21 % vacant. Flex space comprises 2,515,744 square feet with 498,313 square feet or 20% vacant. While vacancy is split fairly evenly among the three product types, 10% of the properties surveyed are bulk warehouses, 38% are distribution facilities and 52% are flex properties.
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