The recently completed 2001 survey of industrial, warehouse and manufacturing properties located in the Midlands area of South Carolina indicated an overall market area of 29,966,540 square feet and witnessed an overall absorption of 1,298,000 square feet. The majority of this space (53%) represented new owner occupied distribution or manufacturing facilities. Currently owner occupied facilities represent 68.6% of the overall Midlands industrial market.
In contrast to the high occupancy rate, activity in the market place dramatically slowed after the first quarter of 2001. The majority of the absorption witnessed in 2001, represented completion of projects which commenced in the prior year.
During the year, 773,500 square feet of new construction was completed with the overall net market absorption for 2001 exceeding 1,298,000 square feet. This represented a significant increase of 516,610 square feet from 2000’s absorption of 781,390 square feet. It should be noted, however, that included in this year’s overall absorption number is the 430,000 square foot FG Wilson plant-located in Newberry County. While currently still unoccupied, this property has been taken off the market by the owner, Caterpillar Inc., who has indicated an intent to occupy the facility in the near future.
Activity in 2002 will be largely influenced by the overall national economy, as well as manufacturing activity within the region.
The recently announced closing of the Winnsboro Mack Truck facility will potentially have a negative impact on the overall market, not only from the direct impact of the plant itself, but also on numerous suppliers located within the surrounding market area. Conversely, current low interest rates are continuing to positively influence development of owner occupied facilities.
For the foreseeable future, the industrial market is projected to continue to grow and expand at a 3 – 5% annualized rate. Rental rates are projected to remain stable throughout the coming year.
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