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Design Within Reach Inks Deal For 617K SF 'Future-Proofed' E-Commerce Distribution Center

Design Within Reach has inked a deal with landlord Duke Realty to lease a 617K SF industrial build-to-suit on 46 acres in the greater Cincinnati area. DWR, which specializes in furniture and accessories, will use the space for e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment in North America.


The new facility will include such design components as LED lights throughout, extra roof structural support to house a solar energy system, parking spaces to support electric vehicle charging and provisions for an alternate primary power source (from a different substation), so that electricity to the facility never goes down.

NKF Executive Managing Director Geoffrey Kasselman said these features will help future-proof the new development.

"Future-proofing efforts did make this deal a bit unusual, but only in the sense that all parties to the transaction worked it through together, because all agreed it was essential to the expected life span of the building," Kasselman said. "We're among the first to tackle future-proofing, but it will likely become a best practice much sooner than many expect."

Kasselman said that nearly every consumer-facing company, and many of the wholesalers that supply them, are actively reshaping their supply chains to meet evolving market-driven demand. 


“E-commerce and omnichannel distribution are legitimate market-driven trends, as the market votes with its wallet," Kasselman said.

This is the latest chapter in what will be an unprecedented retrenchment of the supply chain for most consumer-facing companies like DWR.

"Soon, blockchain opportunities will achieve mainstream viability and bring an unprecedented level of transparency and certainty to the supply chain, which will further propel these trends," Kasselman said. "So there's a lot of runtime ahead for such facilities and projects on a global scale."

Kasselman, along with colleagues James Ritman, Si Pitstick, Josh Young, Tim Brogan and Steve Bonge, represented DWR in the deal. The project — which is the first development in the South Afton Industrial Park in Williamsburg Township, Ohio — is slated for completion in early 2019.