Warehouse Demand Continues to Rise in St. Louis
Booming interest in industrial space continues to fill St. Louis industrial parks and warehouses, according to commercial real estate firm JLL.
With a flurry of new leases signed in the last quarter, the brokerage firm says last year’s figures have met the record of 4.1 million square feet of absorption previously set in 2019. According to JLL’s 2021 Midwest Industrial Outlook, the Midwest markets are seeing unprecedented growth and will need 275 million square feet of new warehouse space in the next five years to accommodate surging demand.
“Had you asked in March what the outlook for industrial real estate would be for 2020, the answer would not have been where we are today,” said David Branding, managing director for JLL’s St. Louis industrial markets team. “The activity, especially in last quarter, helped achieve another record year of absorption. We fully expect to see the same momentum and even an increase in demand going into this year and likely well beyond.”
JLL’s report indicates that St. Louis experienced a 79 percent increase in bulk inventory since 2016 after having virtually no new construction from 2009 to 2015. In 2020, e-commerce accounted for more than 40 percent of the leasing activity. The majority of new warehouse construction continues to be in North County, St. Charles, and the Metro East.
Last quarter, JLL represented tenants and developers in more than 670,000 square feet in new lease agreements. Altus Properties signed a 135,400-square-foot lease at its Corporate 44 Business Park in Fenton, Mo. Building 4 at the park is now fully leased with the expansion of current park tenant Re-Sort Solutions, a specialty packaging and warehouse company.
Cambridge Engineering, a Chesterfield Valley company, signed a lease for 68,605 square feet within the Wentzville Distribution Center, owned by SparrowHawk Development. This lease brings occupancy in the building to 100%.
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Agile Packaging Solutions leased 241,448 square feet at Park 370 Center 1 in Hazelwood, Mo., bringing the building to 100% occupancy. JLL represented NorthPoint Development. Agile is also a specialty packaging company serving customers in St. Louis.
JLL also represented St. Louis Business Center on two recent lease agreements within the center, located in the North City submarket. Werner Enterprises and American Trailer Rental Group have both leased trailer yards within the park. The leases are part of a larger trend of facilities catering to increased commercial truck and trailer traffic related to e-commerce, both in and around the St. Louis market and on cross-country routes. This is American Trailer’s first St. Louis location.
Top tenant expansions in the St. Louis market include Amazon, World Wide Technology, Geodis, Reckitt Benckiser, and Save A Lot. The companies signed 18 new leases totaling more than 8.7 million square feet. The area’s top developers, including NorthPoint, TriStar, Pannattoni, Duke Realty, and CRG, brought more the 15 million square feet of new warehouse space to market in 2020.
“With an expected $900 billion increase in e-commerce sales expected in the next five years, St. Louis is poised to gain significant investment and growth among major institutional players, some who have already begun recognizing the market, and others who undoubtedly are now starting to take notice,” added Branding.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 91,000 as of December 31, 2020. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.