Research & Forecast Report
COLUMBUS | INDUSTRIAL
The Columbus industrial market started the year strong, recording 5,072,626 square feet of net absorption. The ongoing COVID-19 health crisis has caused already-high demand for warehouse space to skyrocket, leading to booming activity in the industrial sector. This growth has yielded absorption greater than 1 million square feet in 14 of the past 15 quarters in Central Ohio and driven vacancy to 4.02 percent - the lowest it’s been in three years. With consistent demand and expected construction completions, Columbus can anticipate more activity throughout 2021 as the pandemic fuels growth in industrial space.
The vacancy rate declined from 4.74 percent to 4.02 percent in the first quarter due to positive net absorption. The largest vacancy of the quarter occurred in the Southeast submarket, as Alliance Data vacated 110,000 square feet of space at 6939 and 7001 Americana Pkwy. The Madison submarket saw the most significant decrease in vacancy to 7.29 percent, as Honeywell and Joann Fabrics occupied a combined 1.7 million square feet there.
MARKET ACTIVITY >>
Market activity is often correlated to positive or negative absorption. However, in cases when a tenant leaves one space for another, the positive and negative absorption cancels out. The Market Activity Volume (MAV), which is the absolute sum of absorption change in the market, gives a better idea of overall activity. This quarter, the MAV was 6.3 million square feet – a strong indication that tenants are continuing to stay active in the market.
CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY >>
Development remains steady across the region, as three projects totaling 910,000 square feet broke ground this quarter. This brings total product under construction to 5,687,172 square feet - the seventh consecutive quarter with over 5 million square feet underway. The Licking, Pickaway and Fairfield submarkets lead activity, each with over 900,000 square feet of Class A product under construction. Four properties totaling 2.3 million square feet reached completion this quarter. The 1.1 million-square-foot speculative warehouse at 70 Enterprise Pkwy. and the 742,140-square-foot building at 4077 Airbase Road were both finalized. The Cubes at Rickenbacker completed fully preleased and the Amerisource Bergen build-to-suit expansion also reached completion. With 55 projects comprising of over 24 million square feet either underway or in the pipeline, Central Ohio can expect more large completions throughout 2021.
SALES ACTIVITY >>
This quarter, 23 industrial properties totaling 2.6 million square feet sold in Central Ohio for a total sales volume of $159 million. The average price per square foot reached $64, which is $20 higher than the average in the first quarter of last year. LBA Realty purchased 6198 Green Pointe Drive and 9750 Innovation Campus Way from VanTrust for $56.1 million and $24.5 million, respectively. This was the largest portfolio sale of the quarter. Covington Group, Inc. sold 8355 Highfield Drive to Equity Industrial Partners for $31.6 million in an investment sale. 6500 Adelaide Ct. was sold to Exeter Property Group for $15.2 million.