Warehouse Space in Columbus Ohio: Best Practices for Finding, Leasing, and Organizing

Columbus Ohio Warehouse SpaceWarehouse space in Columbus Ohio and throughout the United States is disappearing as it’s becoming scarcer and pricier. If you’re a business owner looking for a place to house all those consumer goods, widgets, or machines, what can you realistically do to find, lease, and organize a warehouse rental near you?

Step 1: Finding Your Warehouse Space in Columbus Ohio

Even as the economy improves, warehouse space in Columbus Ohio and beyond continues to dry up. After years of sluggish economic growth, the construction of industrial units and warehouses stagnated. Now, builders are trying to keep up with new demand; however, if you’re looking for Columbus warehouse space today, you’ll need to plan accordingly to find the space you need.

So, how can you find warehouse space for rent in Columbus Ohio within this saturated marketplace? It may sound cliché, but it is important to work smarter, not harder, to find what you need for your business, products, and assets. Below are a few tips to consider when conducting your commercial property search:

Anticipate needs as early as possible.

In this market, you need to think ahead. Make sure you formulate accurate projections in order to best understand your need for space. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how can you even get started?

Have a current landlord? Talk to them!

If you’re currently leasing a warehouse rental and you’re looking for additional units elsewhere or simply seeking an upgrade, it might be best to speak with your current landlord, first. Chances are that they have other spaces available for your use. Not to mention, you’ve already built a strong relationship; why not use it?

Let the bidding begin.

When supply is not on your side, you might have to make certain concessions in order to obtain the warehouse space in Columbus Ohio that you need. One way to make this happen is rent pre-payment. What landlord will turn down money in advance?

Did someone say subleasing?

LawDepot™ explains a sublease as, “… a legally binding contract made between a tenant and a new tenant… The sublease gives the subtenant the right to share or to take over the rented premises from the first tenant.”

It may not be ideal to “piggy-back” space from another tenant, but it could be the best direction when there’s limited availability. Don’t make a rash decision, though. Conduct due diligence on both the tenant you’re subleasing from, as well as the landlord.

If all else fails…

In an ideal situation, you’d like to have your own warehouse space in Columbus Ohio, but sometimes it is better to take advantage of the right opportunity. That’s why there are third-party logistics providers, who will not only help you with warehousing, but with transportation and operations, as well.

 

Step 2: Leasing Your Space

If you’ve made it past the first step, congratulations! With demand for warehouse space for rent outpacing supply, you should consider yourself the lucky one. Nonetheless, leasing your space can be an equally challenging process.

Unlike leases for residential property, a commercial property for lease does not necessarily have a standard format. As such, you may need to work intensively with your landlord to create a lease that meets all of your specifications.

Also, feel free to request a pro forma lease agreement. This document will include all of the standard language and terms of the landlord’s agreement, which will better prepare you for any future negotiations.

Below are some other aspects of the commercial lease and leasing process you should consider for your new warehouse space in Columbus Ohio:

Do your homework on your landlord!

If you’ve landed on this article, kudos! It looks as if you’ve already started your research; however, your homework should center on the landlord. Who are you dealing with? Are they recognized in the community? Do they have any legal problems?

A simple Google search might surface some information easily, but don’t hesitate to reach out to consumer protection agencies or a local courthouse. In addition, you may want to check the experience of the current tenants.

Verify usable square footage.

Believe it or not, many landlords calculate square footage differently for warehouse space in Columbus Ohio. As a tenant, you want to verify that you are paying for usable square footage, as opposed to square footage that measures from the outside wall.

Where did the rental rate come from?

First and foremost, some lease agreements include either a gross lease or net lease rate. The most common lease is based on a gross rental rate, which means that the rent includes everything except for the landlord’s responsibility of taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Net leases tend to be riskier; the landlord may offer less rent, but shifts the responsibility of taxes, insurance, and maintenance to the tenant.

In addition, the rental agreement should clearly state how the rental rate was calculated. Oftentimes, a rental chart is included to explain current and future rates.

What are your obligations?

You may be responsible for certain aspects of the warehouse rental, so read your commercial lease carefully. Your new landlord may ask your company to foot the bill for maintenance and repair, which will ultimately add to your costs and impact your bottom line.

In addition, you may be surprised to know that many industrial buildings are not equipped with full heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Furthermore, as the tenant for warehouse space in Columbus Ohio, you may be responsible for the installation costs. This could be a huge negotiating piece, so make sure you inquire early on in the process.

Hire an attorney.

Ultimately, you may save yourself a lot of money and lower your stress level by hiring an attorney, who specializes in commercial lease agreements for warehouse space for lease. An attorney in the commercial real estate field will understand the specifics outlined in your agreement, which will put you in a better position to negotiate.

 

Step 3:  Organizing Your Warehouse

Congratulations! You are now the proud new tenant of your own warehouse space in Columbus Ohio. What’s next?

Time to move in! This process shouldn’t be taken lightly. There is actually a lot of planning involved in your warehouse setup. And, if you are using this space for the first time, you have a great opportunity to create the environment and workflow your business necessitates. Below are some ways you can maximize your space and generate a significant return on investment:

Set aside time for analysis.

There is much to consider when opening up a new warehouse space in Columbus Ohio. The questions below are just a starting point:

This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is suggested that you bring in someone who is extremely organized and knowledgeable of warehouse workflow and processes.

Examine storage methods.

There are a number of ways to place your inventory within your new warehouse space in Columbus Ohio, so make sure you choose the method that is right for your business.

If you’re new to warehousing and storage, you’re probably familiar with a mix of bulk storage and pallet racks; however, different methods have been implemented over the years to increase storage capacity. For instance, storage can be created across aisles, over work areas, or above docks.

Storage organization really comes down to your business process. As such, be clear about your overall business plan when implementing your storage capabilities. You may want to consider hiring a professional organizer that is experienced in organizing inventory and warehouse spaces.

Create a detailed plan.

Planning can be tedious, but it is critical to the long-term organization of your warehouse. Do not take this process lightly.

The plan should include tasks and milestones, colleagues involved, resources needed, and time needed to execute each deliverable. Be as detailed as possible. The more information is written down, the better off you’ll be. This plan needs to be specific in order to ensure an organized practice for the future.

 

Hire a Commercial Real Estate Firm

As mentioned previously, warehouse or industrial space is becoming hard to find. Don’t leave your search up to luck. Hire the best team to discover your next warehouse. With close to 80 years in the Central Ohio commercial real estate market, we know how to find your company the perfect warehouse space in Columbus Ohio and throughout Central Ohio. Contact one of our CRE brokers today at 614-221-4286.