Warehouse Space in Columbus, Ohio: 3 Tips on Finding, Leasing, and Organizing Wednesday, December 06, 2017
Warehouse space in Columbus, Ohio and throughout the United States is disappearing as it’s becoming scarcer and pricier. However, thanks to the continuing popularity of e-commerce and online sales, the demand for warehouse space is on the rise. This is particularly the case in the major population centers.
Real estate investment firm, LaSalle Investment Management, is forecasting a favorable 2018 for commercial real estate sales in North America. According to a new report from LaSalle, fundamentals in the real estate market remain strong. The report contains lots of optimism for the industrial sector.
However, if you’re a business owner looking for a place to house all those consumer goods, widgets, or machines, what can you realistically do? Follow the 3 steps below to find, lease or rent, and organize your warehouse rental space.
Step 1: Find Your Next 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 warehouses for rent 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 renting warehouse space and you’re looking for additional units elsewhere or simply seeking an upgrade, speak with your current landlord, first. Chances are that they have other available spaces for your use. Not to mention, you’ve likely 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 rental space 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” warehouse for rent 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: Lease 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 the square footage of their warehouse space for rent differently. 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 for 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 space, 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, tenants of warehouse rentals 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: Organize Your New Industrial Hub
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:
- What is the pace of your operations?
- Aside from storage, what other activities need space (e.g.. office, inspection station, docking)?
- What will staffing size look like?
- Are there any physical obstacles you need to consider, such as doors, walls, and clearances?
- What kind of conveyor or sorting system will you have in place?
- What equipment will be needed in your new space?
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, 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 80 years in the Central Ohio commercial real estate market, we know how to find your company the most suitable warehouse space in Columbus, Ohio and throughout Central Ohio. Contact one of our CRE brokers to start your search today at 614-221-4286.