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Jeff Thomas on May 15, 2012
Out in the Baltimore and DC Beltway suburbs, real estate decision-makers have been active, says First Industrial Realty Trust's Jeff Thomas (snapped yesterday, he's another of our May 30 speakers). His firm owns 1.9M SF (25 flex/R&D, warehouse, and light industrial properties) in the region. Leasing has been "decent and consistent" in both new biz and renewals, though there has been some ebb and flow. The most recent ebb likely owes to gassed-up fuel prices.
7243 Ambassador Road, Rutherford Business Center, Woodlawn, MD
Jeff adds, though, that deals are taking longer to lock in as tenants do more due diligence on facility decisions. Third-party logistics providers and government contractors are also waiting in the wings for the government to award contracts. One spot where his firm has seen recent success: 49k SF of new leases within its 370k SF in Woodlawn's Rutherford Business Center. The three deals, including a 27k SF warehouse lease at 7243 Ambassador Rd (above), raised occupancy at First Industrial's Rutherford properties 13%.
7120 Ambassador Rd, Rutherford Business Center, Woodlawn, MD
The other 22k SF were light industrial/flex leases at the newly redeveloped 7120 Ambassador Rd (above). First Industrial also reworked 7142 Ambassador (below), updating the facades and windowlines and adding more parking to accommodate some tenants that have heavier parking ratios nowadays.
7142 Ambassador Rd, Rutherford Business Center, Woodlawn, MD
And here's the redeveloped 7142 Ambassador. Whether as a TI or when a tenant returns space to First Industrial, the firm now usually updates lighting as standard practice since that's what tenants want. (Birthday gifts would be a lot easier if we could shop for tenants instead of our spouse.) The work typically costs $0.70/SF, Jeff says, and energy savings often pay back within three years.
Hear more from Peter and Jeff, as well as ProLogis' Mark Levy, Liberty Property Trust's Lisa Sullivan, and Miles & Stockbridge's Sandra Howard at our big Industrial Summit. Sign up here!