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JLL Forms Consultant Group Focused On Last-Mile Distribution Centers

E-commerce is driving the industrial market, which remains the hottest sector in commercial real estate, and JLL has taken notice.

Prologis' Pulaski Distribution Center outside of New York.

The global real estate services firm recently launched a U.S.-based consultancy arm dedicated solely to last-mile distribution centers, Commercial Observer reports. The group is led by JLL President of Americas Industrial Craig Meyer and Richard Thompson, a Chicago-based consultant for JLL.

With Meyer in Los Angeles, the 10-person team is only a group in the virtual sense, spread across the country in urban offices and "still in the incubation period," JLL President Naveen Jaggi told CO. For now, the primary goal of the group is to work with retailers to find facilities that can achieve same-day deliveries.

As more retail companies deal with customer expectations set by Amazon for super-fast online deliveries, proximity to population centers has become more important than ever before for warehouses — in some cases, more important than factors like clearance heights or truck parking.

With less land available closer to cities, many retailers are forced to make tough choices based on how much to spend on the land available and if an older warehouse would be viable for redevelopment. That decision process is where JLL hopes its last-mile team will make its mark, as Jaggi told CO.

"[E-commerce retailers aren't] good with being distribution specialists," Jaggi said.

So far, the formation of this new group has not led to any personnel changes at JLL.