Consistently Strong and Growing Market
2013 was full of positive announcements and improvements for the Greenville/Spartanburg industrial and flex market. The fourth quarter marked the market’s seventh consecutive quarter of positive absorption and low total vacancy rate of 8.9%, the lowest rate seen in years. This compares to the third quarter total vacancy rate of 9.1% and year-end 2012 vacancy rate of 10.0%. Over 545,000 square feet of space was absorbed during the fourth quarter resulting in a total absorption of over 2 million square feet for the year.
The region successfully attracts manufacturers and distribution companies through county tax incentives, efficient logistics supported by the new South Carolina Inland Port and a skilled labor force. Several companies, including Colgate-Palmolive and Carbures, announced plans to expand or enter the market during the fourth quarter joining a mix of companies which entered earlier in the year. Throughout the year, the region has welcomed companies Heiche US Surface Technology, Crown Group and Edgewater Automation, among others.
The Greenville/Spartanburg market is made up of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Pickens and Spartanburg Counties. Greenville showed the greatest activity though 2013 absorbing over 1 million square feet and ending the year with a total vacancy rate of 9.1%, down 1 percentage point from the third quarter and 1.4 percentage points from year-end 2012. Pickens and Spartanburg Counties were the only ones to experience increased vacancy rates during the fourth quarter up to 14.5% and 8.7%, respectively, from the previous quarter. Despite Spartanburg’s slight increase in vacancy during the fourth quarter, it remained below 10% and is 70 basis points lower than it was at year-end 2012.
With limited available industrial space and a growing demand to locate in the Greenville/Spartanburg region, developers are beginning to partake in speculative construction projects.
- Atlanta-based Pattillo Industrial Real Estate plans to break ground on a new speculative industrial building in January 2014. The 108,000 square foot building will be located at Hillside Industrial Park in Spartanburg County. The Class A building will be listed for sale or lease and is expandable up to 232,000 square feet.
- Corporate Center plans to add 100,000 square feet of Class A space to its park in Spartanburg County. The first building, located at 130 Corporate Drive, is currently under construction. The 50,000 square foot building will be available for occupancy in January 2014. Construction is planned for the second 50,000 square foot building but has not yet begun.
- Construction continued on the 156,000 square foot Class A speculative industrial building at Caliber Ridge Industrial Park in Greer, SC being developed by Liberty Property Trust. The building has already secured A.L. Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of filters for the automotive and heavy duty industry, as a tenant to occupy 52,000 square feet in the building.
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