Robust Interest Generates Significant Leasing Velocity

Key Takeaways

  • Strong leasing activity throughout the first half of 2015 contributed to positive absorption and a decline in vacancy for the Midlands, SC industrial market.
  • Manufacturers and distributors continue to expand and establish new facilities in the region.
  • Industrial employment, which is comprised of manufacturing and wholesale trade, is increasing and approaching pre-recession levels.
  • The Port of Charleston and South Carolina Inland Port are seeing significant activity and provide efficient logistics for industrial users in the Midlands and throughout South Carolina.

Market Conditions

The second quarter of 2015 was accompanied by positive absorption, decreasing vacancy and growing capital investments for the Midlands region, which consists of Aiken, Calhoun, Clarendon, Darlington, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter counties.  The region is receiving recognition for its continued growth and success.  Columbia, SC ranked #5 on The Boyd Company’s recent study, 10 Best Cities to Locate Your Warehouse.  

The total vacancy rate for the market was down to 8.9% at mid-year 2015 from 9.6% the previous quarter and 9.8% one year ago.  Several significant leases were signed during the quarter contributing to a positive net absorption of approximately 615,000 square feet.  As a result, few options remain for tenants seeking space in the market. 

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