Demand for industrial real estate has increased significantly in recent years, along with the rise of e-commerce and subsequent need for regional distribution centers. Even with the Federal Reserve hiking up interest rates, the U.S. industrial real estate market outlook remains rosy, according to a March 2023 report from the commercial real estate development association NAIOP.

If you’re one of the many investors or business owners searching for industrial property, it’s essential to carefully consider various vital factors before buying or committing to a lease. These are some of the most crucial facets of industrial real estate to research, according to the Forbes article “Eight Things To Know About Industrial Real Estate” and Commercial Real Estate Training Online.

1. Location.

The best industrial property is close to major population centers and transportation channels such as airports, highways, seaports, and so on. This will ensure access to labor and supplies as well as shipping methods.

2. Ceiling height.

The clear height – measured from the floor to the lowest infrastructure extending down from the ceiling (e.g., a sprinkler system) – is crucial since it determines the amount of product you can store in the space. Clear heights can start as low as 10 feet, but taller (32 feet and up) is typically better.

3. Loading docks.

Industrial properties typically have either grade-level (also known as drive-in) or dock-high loading docks. Dock-high set-ups allow larger trucks like 18-wheelers to back up to the warehouse and unload their cargo efficiently. Grade-level loading docks are better suited to companies that don’t rely on fleets of large trucks.

4. Roof condition.

Ask about the age of the roof and condition, particularly the edges. You should also watch out for holes and standing water.

5. HVAC system.

You should inquire about the condition of the HVAC system before renting or purchasing industrial real estate. A unit older than a decade will likely need repairs or maintenance.

6. Electrical system.

The amount of electrical power available in the building in terms of amperage and voltage will affect manufacturing equipment in the space. More power means greater appeal for companies that plan to run advanced machinery.

7. Available parking spaces.

Larger parking areas are always better for industrial real estate. If you don’t need all your spaces for employees, you can always rent them out for additional income, depending on the location.

If you’d like to explore Chicago industrial property for sale or rent, the Avalon Realty Associates team can assist you. Check out our property listings for available industrial real estate and visit our contact us page, call us at 847-506-1000, or email to connect with our team of experienced real estate brokers.