2015 to Be the Year of Build-to-Suits for Tightening Charleston Industrial Market

Key Takeaways

  • Total vacancy rate for the market is the lowest it has been in years.
  • Construction activity is gaining momentum throughout the market.
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans announces major investment in Charleston County.
  • Container volume is up at the Port of Charleston.

Market Conditions

The Charleston, South Carolina industrial market has experienced heightened activity in recent quarters brought upon by efficient logistics supported by the Port of Charleston, a talented workforce, and a growing economy.  Large blocks of quality industrial space are running in low supply throughout the market, attributing to the low total vacancy rate of 6.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2015, the lowest rate seen in years.  The vacancy rate was 7.3% at year-end 2014 and 8.0% one year ago.  The highly occupied market leaves few options for new companies looking for space and restricts the growth of existing companies.  Most of the vacant space in the market lies in older, less functional buildings.  An opportunity exists for investors to reposition and re-purpose these older industrial facilities in an effort to attract new tenants.   

Construction activity is picking up for the first time since the recent economic downtown with expansions by existing companies and the development of build-to-suit and speculative industrial buildings.

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