Doug Armbruster, senior vice president and regional managing director with the Cincinnati office of industrial real estate brokerage IDI, recently spoke to Midwest Real Estate News about the industrial real estate sector in his market, a market that includes both the Cincinnati and Indianapolis areas.
Here is some of what he had to say:
Midwest Real Estate News: Your company has been busy in the Cincinnati area these days. Doug Armbruster: We have been. We’ve been very active in the development side. We just acquired out of foreclosure a 651,592-square-foot building at what was once called the Corridor 75 Premier Logistics Park in Monroe, Ohio. We are renaming the development Park North at Monroe. We have also acquired through foreclosure 300 acres of vacant land at that park.
MWREN: Why did you make that purchase? Armbruster: We think the time was right for that move. We are seeing a stronger interest for industrial real estate in the Cincinnati market. That 300 acres of vacant land that we acquired is the only land in the market that is tax-abated 100 percent for 15 years through the state of Ohio. So it was a purchase that made financial sense for us.
MWREN: You mentioned that industrial demand is growing in your market. Why is that? Armbruster: The economy is improving. At the same time, we are seeing a greater demand for space from ecommerce companies. That share of the market has been strong. We are getting very active in working with ecommerce companies, too.
MWREN: What else is behind the stronger interest in industrial properties in the Cincinnati-area market? Armbruster: CSX last year opened a new intermodal center in North Baltimore, Ohio, that is serving the railroad’s National Gateway corridor. That allows for products to bypass the intermodal in Chicago when it is coming from the West Coast. We are hopeful that will translate into additional demands in this area. We think that’s a big advantage for companies, to not have to send their product through the Chicago intermodal.
MWREN: How did the Cincinnati area fare during the worst days of the downturn? Is the market now poised for a steady recovery? Armbruster: During the downtimes, our biggest industrial buildings were filled. That was good for our market. We had large buildings in the marketplace that were still generating demand. That is what we are still continuing to see. There is solid demand for large blocks of space in our market.
MWREN: How about spec building? Are you seeing speculative building returning to the Cincinnati industrial market? Armbruster: We are seeing that. We are also active in that space. We recently delivered 550,000 square feet of industrial spec space in Monroe. We have opportunities available for tenants that are looking for existing space.
MWREN: I know it’s difficult to predict the future, but what do you think we’ll see in the next two years or so in the Cincinnati industrial market? Armbruster: We are hopeful that things will continue to trend positively our way. We are the only national developer that is actively developing industrial space in Cincinnati. We can do a million square feet in Northern Kentucky or Northern Cincinnati right now. There aren’t too many developers who have that capability in this market right now.