This post originally appeared on tBL member Michael Kushner's blog Omni Realty Group and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

Region gains more than two million square feet of new industrial space in first quarter

2017 is on track to becoming one of the best years yet for industrial real estate in Central Pennsylvania – and we’ve only just wrapped up the first quarter! The market absorbed more than 2 million square feet of new space, while increasing net absorption and holding on to the highest rental rate per square foot that we’ve had in over four years. The vacancy rate also holds steady at 5.5%, even with an increase in vacant space.

The market almost can’t get its hands on space fast enough. Five of the six buildings delivered this quarter made it to CoStar’s Top 10 list. Additionally, nine new buildings are under construction and will deliver yet another 4,410,916 square feet of new space.

To see the full impact of the growth taking place in Central Pennsylvania’s industrial real estate market, take a look at the highlights from Q1 2017.

SELECT YEAR-TO-DATE DELIVERIES

Within the first quarter of 2017, Central Pennsylvania received six new industrial properties, totaling a combined 2,244,371 square feet of space. Five of these made it to CoStar’s list of Select Year-to-Date Deliveries. The first and largest is the Eden Road Logistics Center in York with 754,881 square feet of space. Next, Carlisle Distribution Center – Building 5 delivered 582,000 square feet of space. The Crossroads Logistics Center in Jonestown delivered 398,250 square feet of space. The property at 51 Commerce Drive – Building 1 in Reading delivered 339,200 square feet of space. And the property at 1451 Stoneridge Drive in Middletown contributed an additional 10,200 square feet of space.

SELECT TOP UNDER CONSTRUCTION PROPERTIES

If six new properties delivering in the Q1 wasn’t enough to prove the rapid growth of industrial real estate in Central Pennsylvania, there are yet nine more properties under construction, four of which made it to CoStar’s list of Select Top Under Construction Properties. A 1.1 million square-foot property located at 100 Fry Drive, Mechanicsburg is expected to deliver in Q3. A 1,002,000 square-foot property located at 575 Old Forge Road, Jonestown is also expected to deliver in Q3. The Goodman Logistic Center Carlisle – Building 2 will deliver 938,828 square feet of space in Q2. Finally, Orchard Business Park II – Building A will deliver 780,000 square feet of space in Q4.

SELECT TOP SALES

Among the year’s select top sales, are three worth noting that took place in Central Pennsylvania. The Ames True Temper building in Carlisle (1,226,525 square feet) sold for $90,150,000 to Clarion Partners. Target Distribution Center in York (785,400 square feet) sold for $60,000,000 to AEW Capital Management. And the building at 100 Louis Parkway in Carlisle (400,596 square feet) sold for $28,850,000 to Industrial Property Trust.

ABSORPTION

2017 is setting records all around for industrial real estate in Central Pennsylvania. Q1 boasts the largest number of buildings in existing inventory (3,635) and the largest total RBA (262,658,186 square feet) we have ever seen. In less than four years, the local market gained 45 new buildings, with nine more under construction. Even with all of this new inventory entering the market, net absorption continues to increase, proving the demand for more space. Net absorption this quarter rose from 992,800 square feet to 2,107,328 square feet. This is the highest net absorption we’ve seen since Q2 2015 and the third highest since it plummeted into the negatives in Q2 2013.

VACANCY & RENTAL RATES

Total vacant space increased from 14,255,260 square feet to 14,392,303 square feet this quarter. Even with this increase, the vacancy rate holds steady at 5.5%, where it’s been since Q2 2016. The quoted rental rate also remains steady at $4.36. This is the highest price per square foot we’ve seen prior to Q2 2013, again proving a healthy demand for industrial real estate in Central Pennsylvania!

What trend from the first quarter did you find most interesting or impactful to Central Pennsylvania industrial space? Share your insights by leaving a comment below.

Learn more from past market reports:

Central Pennsylvania CRE Market Reports Q4 2016

Predictions for Trends and Changes in Commercial Real Estate in 2017

Influx of New Construction Impacts Central PA’s Industrial Real Estate Market

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