JLL: St. Louis industrial market to set new-construction record


by Dan Rafter

Developers are expected to bring nearly 7 million square feet of new industrial buildings to the St. Louis region by the end of the year, one more piece of evidence that this area’s industrial market is booming.

JLL, in its most recent industrial report, said this would be the largest amount of industrial construction that the St. Louis area has ever seen in one year.

The numbers are impressive: JLL reports that more than 3.5 million square feet of industrial construction was delivered by the end of the third quarter, with 3.4 million more expected to reach the market by the end of the fourth. Construction deliveries have easily outpaced 2015, when 2.2 million square feet of new industrial buildings rose in the St. Louis region.

“It’s been a remarkable year for industrial growth in St. Louis,” said Pat Reilly, senior vice president for JLL and president of the St. Louis chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. “All indicators point toward sustained momentum in the sector.”

The demand that is fueling all this new construction is resulting in rising industrial rents, with JLL reporting that these have risen 4.4 percent his year when compared with 2015.

The biggest industrial construction projects in this market include GM’s supplier warehouse in Wentzville (1.1 million square feet), Reckitt Benckiser’s new distribution center in St. Peters (717,000 square feet) and NorthPark’s new speculative warehouse in North County (538,000 square feet).

In more good news, the St. Louis industrial makret has absorbed more than 4 million square feet, the most industrial activity here in 10 years. JLL estimates that industrial absorption will top 5 million square feet by the end of the year.

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