Should Industrial Developers Build Taller?
GTA developers would do well to take a bit of risk and build large-scale industrial facilities with clear heights up to 40 feet (versus the 32- to 36-foot heights seen in most newer projects), Newmark Knight Frank Devencore SVP Rob Renaud tells us. Taller buildings are better-suited to accommodate the “exponential growth” of e-commerce businesses in the region, which has been fueling demand for larger, more modern logistics and distribution spaces in excess of 400k SF and with max cube volumes. “If a developer was future-minded,” Rob says, “they could put one or two of these buildings up and lease them out for a little more money.”
The need for larger, modern industrial spaces (with higher clear heights, adequate room for trailer parking, open layouts and energy-efficient systems) has triggered a significant amount of development in the GTA West, Rob notes, with some 4M SF of industrial space going up in Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, and Milton (including Blackwood Partners' 100 Ironside Drive, shown above). Vacancy rates across the GTA have fallen from 4.2% to 3.9% in the past year, with demand greatest for spaces 400k SF and beyond, according to NKFD. New developments will help ease demand, but Rob notes that many already fail to address the growing need for 40-foot clear heights.