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With commercial real estate scarce, experts say it's time to build

When the economy tanked in 2007, the United States was in the midst of what was to become the longest recession since World War II. But as the economy slowly began to rebound, consumer confidence grew lending aid to the boom in business ventures across the nation.

For residents across Western Michigan, that boom occurred in 2012 when the need for warehouse and manufacturing space filled just about all of the commercial real estate properties that had been sitting vacant for several years. But as exciting as it is to have Michigan's industrial economy humming again, experts are now concerned that there might not be enough existing real estate in the market to fill demand.

Commercial real estate brokers from Colliers International met this month to discuss the increased interest in industrial space and how new tenants are dealing with the shortage. "There's very little inventory left," explained Colliers' President and CEO, Duke Suwyn. "We're in a very unique situation with industrial property. Every large good manufacturing building is gone."

In 2012, Western Michigan's downtown markets saw the most change with about 50 percent of the available square footage in large office buildings trading hands to other businesses. But with new owners making constant improvements to lure new tenants, many experts believe that because business will continue to flourish, there is a promise of new construction in downtown areas throughout 2013.

New construction will be key in 2013, say some forecasters who point out that as the number of existing commercial real estate properties continue to dwindle, companies will be need to either get creative about their space needs or build; a problem some construction companies have no qualms with if it continues to create more jobs for the struggling market.

Source: mlive.com, "Real estate is getting scarce for industries that need room to grow, forecasters say," Jim Harger, Jan. 25, 2013

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