These numbers are a rough order of magnitude, for the purposes of giving you some scale in where our local market is, and there could be some variance between these numbers and others reported. The main takeaway is that the sheer volume of what we’re seeing is new for Tampa Bay and the I-4 Corridor and that shows a structural change in how our market is looked at from corporate users and local growth companies.
In the last couple years we have seen over 6 million square feet (sf) of industrial warehouse development from Tampa to East Polk that has been completed, over 4 million sf of industrial development currently under construction, and almost 15 million sf of future supply being planned for.
That’s extraordinary! That’s warranted! That’s going to take a while too, so don’t get too excited, but it shows long-term confidence in our market from both local developers and national institutional capital.
This is all a result of how Florida is shaping up and where consistent population growth is taking this great state. Florida, and each region like Tampa Bay, has amassed some serious new residents that have changed almost everything about our coastal communities. Now the focus is on the interior of the state as the coast becomes land constrained.
What were once beaches for tourists, sleepy little towns and neighborhoods for retirees are now transforming into luxury homes on the water, urban density with nightlife, younger residents creating families and many more dynamics that are compounding interest in relocations to Florida.
This is bringing large distribution centers to the center of the state and shipping lines to our coastal seaports.
Nationally, industrial development and market stats are also continuing to show strength in numbers. 38 straight quarters of positive net absorption, rents are growing which supports further development of new construction, consumer demand is still strong and unemployment is at a 50-year low. Add to that rising business inventories and industrial production and the industrial real estate market has a lot of good inputs to continue supporting positive net absorption of what’s being delivered across the country and in high-growth areas such as Central and West Florida.
Yes, national consumer confidence was down slightly in September and remained relatively flat in October, but at levels that are still strong and do not show signs of slowing down holiday spending especially with the measures the Fed is taking to keep rates low.
Yes, the employment index was also down in October, but signs of growth in consumer and government spending, along with housing, point to the idea that the economy could still generate a healthy level of jobs.
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