Contrary to our 2001 year-end forecast, the overall Midlands Region industrial market remained soft throughout 2002 with limited new activity being experienced. The majority of transactions witnessed during the year were from either expansions or contraction from entities already within the marketplace, with the exception of several heavy industrial announcements.
No significant new construction or development was commenced during 2002, although previously announced projects for both Target and Sysco, totaling 1,605,000 square feet, were completed and occupied.
Vacancy increased significantly during the year to a year-end high of 10.6%, twice the prior year’s rate. A total of 3.25 MM square feet were reported vacant, an increase of 1.75 MM square feet over the prior year. Vacancy was fueled by a number of factors to include the reintroduction into the marketplace of the 430,000 square foot F G Wilson facility, located in Newberry County. For the year, the market reported a negative 143,000 square foot absorption for 2002. This is the first negative absorption witnessed by the Columbia area market in many years.
Activity in 2003 will continue to be significantly impacted by the overall national economy, as well as the success of state and regional economic development activities.
Rental rates, which have decreased slightly over the past year, should remain stable or increase slightly in 2003, as the market rebounds. Little, if any, new speculative construction should be expected until vacancies decrease and rental rates stabilize.
The I-77 Corridor in Richland County and the I-20 Corridor in Kershaw County should continue to host a significant portion of any new growth or new development, particularly in light of Richland County’s efforts to develop a regional technology park in the I-77/Blythewood area of Richland County.
Download the full report
For more information, including the market summary statistics, download the full research report.Download report