Market Overview

The Greater Charleston industrial market remained strong and continued the growth trends that have created greater demand for product, caused absorption to soar, generated a need for new product and pushed land prices up and development further out. Total inventory grew to 20,801,438 square feet, while vacancy fell to 1,625,253 square feet or 7.81%. The overall weighted average rental rate increased only slightly to $4.53 per square foot annually; however, industrial land prices climbed in all sub-markets and reached a record high of approximately $400,000.00 per acre for prepared land with deep water access. New projects planned or commenced totaled approximately 1,200,000 square feet. Third party logistics firms continued to thrive in the market. Suppliers in the aviation industry began to descend on the market, drawn by the facilities being constructed for production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Bulk Warehouse

Activity in bulk warehouse product continued to be strong, with almost all of the 12,970,427 square feet being leased. A meager 6.83% of the overall inventory remained vacant at year-end, but robust demand continued to push absorption up. Rental rates remained flat due to several facilities backfilling newly vacated space and other long vacant facilities providing incentives to prospective tenants. Growing demand and a short supply of properties in excess of 150,000 square feet drove brisk activity among developers pursuing land for new product or planning and beginning construction on speculative product. Most of the new bulk warehouse product will be developed along North Rhett Boulevard, in Palmetto Commerce Park and in the outer-lying areas like Jedburg. Increased Port traffic had a material impact on bulk space users, primarily logistics firms. New firms to the market, like Kontane Logistics, leased product to get underway, bought land to build a new facility or did both. The ongoing push to expand the Port facilities will provide additional opportunities for these and other operators to increase business and expand within the market.

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