Industrial Transformation Into Usable Space

In real estate, everyone talks about location, location, location.  When it comes to finding a location for office space, America has been long over-supplied with commercial space.  However, due to the impact of Covid-19 from 2020, more and more businesses are shutting their doors and companies are taking advantage of a work-from-home environment.  Once these businesses close their offices, commercial buildings are left dealing with the vacancy.

For owners and management properties of buildings, finding another retail tenant in this environment can be a challenge.  This has caused many owners to look outside the proverbial “box” at the possibility of adapting these vacant spaces for different uses. 

While much of the unoccupied retail space is traditionally transformed into warehouse space, many property owners are turning industrial warehouse space into an innovative retail experience for customers. This new approach offers more possibilities when it comes to transforming industrial buildings into usable space. 

In the third quarter of 2021, the industrial sector continued to experience extraordinary growth. This growth is being driven by a combination of the growing share of e-commerce in retail sales, ongoing government stimulus, and the expectation of reasonably strong economic growth. The demand for industrial space is on the rise as net absorption for the warehouse subsector increased from about 58 million square feet in the previous quarter to over 169 million square feet. So why is there a growing need for industrial real estate in the marketplace? Businesses are shifting from brick and mortar to e-commerce, and with this shift businesses need an infrastructure to be able to store inventory and access major freeways. 

As mentioned in our previous blog, Northeast Ohio, specifically Youngstown, is a prime location to invest in industrial real estate for multiple reasons. There are many warehouses and available buildings that have the opportunity to be repurposed for a greater use. For example, the visionaries behind Penguin City Brewing Company are in the process of transforming a warehouse into a brewery and tap room. This will allow customers to not only see how their products are made, but also to socialize while enjoying the bar and restaurant area. This full industrial transformation will attract not just craft beer lovers, but also those who love ciders and wines. In similar fashion, the founders of R. Shea Brewing in Akron, OH, renovated a 50,000sq.ft. production brewery and an 8,000sq.ft. restaurant from an old industrial space.

Over the past year, property owners and managers realize that they must get creative with vacant spaces in order to survive. With the industrial sector on the rise, there is no better time to become a visionary and create a brand new experience within an available industrial space.