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June 14, 2024
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Multi-Use Logistics Primed for Big Growth


This report was provided by real estate services firm JLL

Industrial commercial real estate assets traded to the tune of nearly $96 bil in the United States in 2020, the second-best year on record, and the outlook for 2021 already looks bright. With increased competition among investors for industrial product, JLL Capital Markets has found one sub-class that is gaining big interest – multi-use logistics, which are typically older multi-tenant assets with solid footprints within infill urban logistics markets that boast compelling rent growth profiles.

“The long-term outlook for multi-use logistics is strong, with clear industry momentum from ‘fabric of society’ tenants and growing investor demand for this sub-class,” said Senior Managing Director John Huguenard, Co-Head of JLL’s Industrial Capital Markets group. “With new yield-focused investors entering into the industrial space, small bay product is desirable as an alternative to the ever-tightening bulk industrial market.”

In a new report, JLL Research defines multi-use logistics assets as 20k sf- to 100k sf multi-tenant industrial buildings in dense, infill locations around the U.S. These buildings often contain distribution, flex showroom, industrial showroom, R&D, warehouse and/or manufacturing space and have a diversified, local tenant base.

Given they are often older properties, they witnessed population centers growing around them, making multi-use logistics properties not only almost impossible to replace, but highly sought-after as last-mile logistics locations close to end users. Compounded by industry fundamentals driven by macroeconomic factors such reshoring and acceleration of e-commerce adoption, the increased demand for these smaller, multi-tenant industrial assets has significantly dropped vacancy rates nationwide, now holding at under nine percent.

“This sub-class has huge potential upside on rent growth driven by low vacancy and limited new supply,” Huguenard said. “Multi-use logistics rent has grown more than 54% since 2010 and nearly 21% since 2017, outpacing the national average for the broader industrial market.”

JLL anticipates a nationwide 4.6% rent growth for triple-net-leased multi-use logistics between 2021 and 2024, compared to 3.8% for all U.S. multi-tenant industrial and 3.7% for the entire property sector. Yet, this sub-class accounts for only 15% of overall industrial product inventory. For trades in 2020 of over $5 mil, these properties accounted for 1,973 transactions at $128 per square foot with an average cap rate of 6.62% (down from the five-year average of 6.72%), demonstrating their value.

Adding to the advantages are a limited supply and lack of new construction. Construction activity for multi-use logistics properties is hovering between 0.1% and 0.3% of existing inventory this cycle, which is significantly below the national average of 1.6%. With little new product entering the market and increasing pressure from rising land-values to redevelop for other uses, tenants have very limited options outside their current space – helping constrain vacancy nationwide.

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