18 REAL ESTATE FORUM JANUARY 2016
With all the new technologies and requirements tenants seek, build-to-suit development is
gaining a significant amount of steam. Find out how this trend is rippling.
E-commerce is changing the face of industrial real estate—lit- erally. Although e-commerce is nothing new—Amazon came on the scene in 1994 and survived the dot-com bubble
bursting six years later—e-commerce has surpassed early pundit
expectations to revolutionize retail.
For many retailing giants, e-commerce has become as much an
industrial and logistics function as a storefront function—and
some 21st century retailing giants
don’t have a storefront operation at
all. At the same time, technologies
like drones are allowing delivery of
many household items in less than an hour. But, again, it all comes
back down to warehousing and logistics.
In response to e-commerce trends, as well as newfangled tech-
nologies and government requirements, developers are shifting
commercial real estate strategies. Instead of building massive
industrial facilities based on historic specs—or even constructing
warehousing with more loading docks and higher ceilings—devel-
opers are catering to the exact requirements of tenants with build-
E-commerce is the primary driver of a new wave of BTS development trends. According to market research firm eMarketer, online
retail grew 20% in 2015 compared to 2014 and should grow at
about that same rate in 2016. E-commerce currently accounts for
6.7% of all retail globally and will grow up to 7.4% by the end of
2016, the firm reports.
“E-commerce users are looking for a specific type of asset—with
clear heights, trailer parking, washrooms, HVAC within the warehouse, light, power, a mezzanine—and until now, these really
weren’t available in second-generation buildings,” says Scott
By Jennifer LeClaire