Commercial Investment Real Estate May/June 2017 - Page 21
leasing in Denver, followed by high-tech users representing
approximately 14.4 percent of leasing, according to CBRE.
Companies in these sectors seek workplaces that are conducive
to innovation. To deliver brand value and retain the best employ-
ees, these tenants will gravitate toward spaces with on-site ameni-
ties, creative ofﬁ ce space, and highly efﬁ cient industrial feature.
In fourth quarter 2016, national vacancy rates in all industrial
product dropped to 4.9 percent and positive net absorption
totaled 47 msf, indicating 41 percent less demand compared to
third quarter 2016 for industrial space in markets across the U.S.,
according to CBRE. However, this is the 27th consecutive quar-
ter of positive net absorption .
Much of the existing product, on the other hand, was not
designed with the end user in mind and often lacks the proper
infrastructure to appeal to today’s industrial tenants. The limited
supply of high-quality industrial product, coupled with its pent-
up demand, creates an opportunity to ﬁ ll a void with industrial
facilities that are both high-quality and creative.
Based on shifting tenant preferences and national fundamen-
tals, it’s time for the industrial sector to embrace creative space.
The rationale is straightforward. Tenants understand that it’s
“Today’s millennials place a greater value
on a company’s culture and demand
creative environments to support them in
their personal and professional growth.”
better to pay a little extra per sf in rent for a high-quality facility
than to lose their best employees.
By creating thoughtfully designed workspaces that encourage
social connections and provide opportunities for enriching live/
work/play experiences, industrial owners and developers will
enable tenants to attract and retain their best employees, allow-
ing owners to keep their tenants and drive stable cash ﬂ ow on
By integrating lifestyle amenities and creative office
elements into industrial buildings, industrial owners and
developers can leverage tenant demand for high-quality work
environments, resulting in strong cash ﬂ ow and risk-adjusted
returns for years to come.
Adam Robinson is founder and principal of RAF Paciﬁ ca
Group based in Encinitas, Calif. Contact him at
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