Big Box Tenants Looking for Space.

The Columbia, South Carolina, industrial market experienced an influx of activity during the first quarter of 2011, primarily from out-of-market big box and manufacturing tenants. This activity bodes extremely well for the long-term growth of the market as these types of tenants generally look for space as long as 12 months prior to occupancy. First quarter activity among large users should translate into an abundance of absorption by year-end 2011.

Smaller local tenants, which have historically been the foundation of growth in the market, were less active than expected given current stage of economic recovery. Growth among these tenants is directly correlated to local job growth, and while several substantial economic development announcements were made in the last quarter of 2010, including the one million square foot distribution center, these announcements have not yet equated to substantial job growth. Overall employment levels for the Columbia MSA remained flat during the first quarter of 2011.

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