In a year of uncertainties, the industrial market stayed strong as occupancy rates rose over the quarter and ended on a positive note with a year-over-year absorption of 188,702 SF. With an increase of 0.29% in the occupancy rate, and ending the quarter at 95.6%, it is not surprising to see rents following suit. Overall rents finished at $7.05 NNN, rising $0.51 PSF year-over-year.
A strong occupancy rate is a good sign for landlords, but not always positive for companies needing to expand or find new facilities. Over the year, there have been many companies that have opened new facilities or expanded on-site. Bellavance Beverages completed its 142,000 SF warehouse/distribution facility in Londonderry this quarter and Stonewall Kitchen completed a 81,500 SF expansion at its warehouse/distribution facility in Rochester.
Additionally, some build-to-suit projects were announced during the quarter which points to an uptick in industrial construction next year. This includes the Hudson Logistics Center, mentioned in the third quarter report, as well as the Granite Woods Commerce Center project that is seeking approvals. If approved, the 500,840 SF facility in Hooksett could break ground in the summer of 2021.
The Flatley Company broke ground on its Nashua Micro-Tech Center, which will include three 1-story buildings totaling 38,000 SF. Similar to the Tuscan Village’s recent announcement, the project is looking to attract life science/bio-tech companies as the majority of the buildings will be flex space for incubators and light manufacturing. Some landlords are looking to capitalize on the Massachusetts suburban market which has seen major growth this year. According to our Boston office, lab space had 760,000 SF of absorption over the year across the Greater Boston area. More than 2.5 million SF of life science space has come to the suburbs in recent years.
At Colliers International in New Hampshire and Maine, we internally track over 67.8M SF of industrial space across 6 submarkets in New Hampshire. Our inventory includes buildings and condominiums 10,000+ SF and are classified as manufacturing (MFG), flex/R&D, or warehouse/distribution (W/D).