Port-Driven Activity Contributes to Strong Development and Tight Market

Key Takeaways

  • Charleston, South Carolina’s industrial market continues to tighten as the Port of Charleston remains a driver for manufacturers and distributors looking to enhance their supply chains.
  • Activity at the Port of Charleston is up over the same period in 2015 and is expected to increase further.
  • Speculative industrial buildings are receiving great attention and are expected to drive additional construction.
  • Current market conditions create an ideal environment for investment.

Positive Net Absorption Despite Temporary Uptick in Vacancy

Manufacturers and distributors continued to show great interest in the Charleston, SC industrial market through the first quarter of 2016.  Leasing activity was healthy, and more than 980,000 square feet of space was absorbed despite a slight, temporary increase in vacancy during the quarter.  The total vacancy rate was up to 6.9% at the end of the first quarter of 2016 from 5.8% at year-end 2015 but remains below the vacancy rate of 8.1% one year ago.  This uptick in vacancy was anticipated as several speculative industrial buildings were set to deliver during the quarter.  Approximately 750,000 square feet of Class A, speculative industrial space was added to the existing inventory during the quarter with 500,000 square feet vacant.  Given the strong demand for space in the market, the buildings are successfully attracting attention and exceeding expectations.  The buildings are expected to lease and become occupied in the upcoming quarters.

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