Warehouse Space in Columbus, Ohio: 17 Actionable Steps to Find, Lease & Organize Your Next Hub

Warehouse Space in Columbus, OhioWarehouse 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 for rent is rising. This is particularly the case in the major population centers.

The pandemic created a spike in e-commerce sales and the need for data centers, transforming the industrial real estate market nationally and locally, in Columbus, Ohio. The demand for industrial space for lease has increased exponentially. Industrial real estate investors and developers can’t add new properties to the market fast enough. Almost one-third of new warehouse space for lease is snatched up before the construction project is complete. This is why we are seeing record-breaking low vacancy rates for warehouse space for rent and lease, as well as warehouse space for sale.

According to a recent report from commercial real estate development association, NAIOP, there is a lot of optimism for the industrial sector, nationally, as supply chain conditions steadily improve. Despite rising interest rates, the low vacancy rates will continue to bolster rent growth and property values. Real estate market investment management firm, JLL, is also forecasting a favorable 2023 for the Columbus, Ohio industrial space market. JLL reported that industrial space vacancies reached a record-breaking low of 3.3% in Q3 of 2022 and rents increased by 25% year-over-year. The market for warehouse space in Columbus, Ohio saw even lower vacancy rates at just 2.1% in the same quarter, along with increased demand.

Nonetheless, what can you realistically do if you’re a business owner looking for a place to house all those consumer goods, widgets, or machines? Follow the tips below to find, lease or rent, and organize your warehouse rental space in Columbus, Ohio.

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How to Find Warehouse Space in Columbus, Ohio

As noted above, builders are trying to keep up with new demand for warehouse space in Columbus, Ohio and beyond. Renters are outpacing the construction of industrial units and warehouses. Therefore, if you’re looking for Columbus warehouses for rent today, you must 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 working smarter, not harder, is important to find what you need for your business, products, and assets. Below are a few tips to consider when conducting your commercial property search:

1. Anticipate your needs.

In the current industrial space market, you must think ahead. Make sure you formulate accurate projections to understand your need for space better. How can you even start if you don’t know what you’re looking for? Consider the location: Do you require proximity to employees, partners, customers, or suppliers? How about access to roads and highways or specific modes of transportation? Do your products need particular storage conditions such as climate control? Will any materials or chemicals you use cause zoning issues? What is the size and weight of your machinery or equipment? Are large power sources needed? Do you need warehouse space with reinforced flooring? What kind of fire-prevention system do you need? How much (or little) building security are you comfortable with?

2. Calculate your space requirements.

Warehouse space is typically taller than office space, allowing you more vertical space to store inventory. Keeping height in mind, determine how much space you currently need. Don’t forget to consider your business’s future growth. Consider the five areas of a warehouse: a reception area; storage area; picking area; shipping area; and loading and unloading area.

3. Ask your current landlord.

If you’re currently renting warehouse space and looking for additional units elsewhere or simply seeking an upgrade, speak with your current landlord, first. You’ve likely already built a strong relationship with them and are satisfied with their property management. Chances are that they have other available warehouse spaces that meet your requirements.

4. Begin your search for warehouse space in Columbus, Ohio.

Start with a simple Google search of “warehouse space for lease Columbus Ohio.” Look through the results and note anything that interests you. Next visit commercial real estate listing sites such as Crexi, LoopNet, PropertyShark, 42Floors, and CityFeet; use their property search tools to narrow the results. Ask your colleagues and local networks for recommendations or if they know of any industrial property to rent.

5. Find at least 3 warehouse spaces for rent in Columbus, Ohio.

Regardless of how much you like one warehouse rental space, we recommend finding at least three warehouses for rent in Columbus, Ohio. Having the option to choose from a few properties allows you to think more clearly about each property. It also gives you the upper hand when negotiating a warehouse space lease agreement. Take ample time to consider your needs and the needs of your business.

6. Outbid or outsmart the competition.

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

7. Consider subleasing.

LawDepot™ explains a sublease as, “… a legally binding contract 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 “piggyback” the 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 the tenant you’re subleasing from and their landlord.

8. Contemplate hiring a 3PL (third-party logistics) company.

Ideally, you’d like your own warehouse space in Columbus, Ohio. However, sometimes it is better to take advantage of the right opportunity. That’s why there are third-party logistics providers, who will manage your order fulfillment. A 3PL partner can help you save time and money. You won’t need to find warehouses to rent, pay for in-house operational costs, or incur transportation and shipping expenses. Also, you won’t have to worry about operations, packing, shipping, logistics, and technical details.



How to Lease Warehouse Space

Now that you’ve found warehouse space to rent, rejoice! With the demand for warehouse space for lease or rent surpassing supply, you lucked out. However, the process of leasing industrial space for rent can be as challenging.

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 agreement that meets your specifications.

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

1. Research the landlord.

If you’ve landed on this article, kudos! 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 contact consumer protection agencies or a local courthouse. In addition, you may want to check the experience of the current tenants.

2. Visit the warehouse property in person.

Commercial real estate may look perfect in an online listing but appear very differently in person. This notion is especially true for warehouse space for rent. Contact the CRE broker or owner to schedule an appointment.

3. Verify usable square footage.

Many landlords calculate the square footage of their warehouse space for rent differently. Some listings show the total square footage of the entire structure or warehouse space, including otherwise unusable areas. As a prospective tenant, you want to verify that you are paying for usable square footage instead of square footage that measures from the outside wall.

4. Where did the warehouse rental rate come from?

Some lease agreements include either a gross lease or net lease rate. The most common lease is based on a gross warehouse 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 shift the tenant’s responsibility for maintenance, insurance, and taxes.

In addition, the commercial warehouse rental agreement should clearly state how the rental rate was calculated. The lease agreement typically includes a rental chart to specify current and future rental rates.

5. What are your obligations?

You may be responsible for certain aspects of the warehouse rental space, so read your commercial lease carefully. The landlord may ask your business to pay for maintenance, repair, ultimately adding to your costs and impacting 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. Tenants of warehouse rentals may be responsible for these installation costs. When negotiating, this could be a significant bargaining chip, so inquire about these costs early on.

6. Hire a commercial real estate attorney to review the lease agreement.

Ultimately, you may save yourself a lot of money and lower your stress level by hiring an attorney specializing 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.



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 a lot of planning involved in your warehouse setup. And, if you are using this space for the first time, you have an excellent opportunity to create the environment and workflow that best suits your business. Below are some ways you can maximize your space and generate a significant return on investment:

1. Analyze your wants and needs.

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

  • What is the structure and pace of your operation?
  • Aside from storage, what other activities need space (e.g., office, inspection station, docking)?
  • What will staffing size look like?
  • Do you need to consider any physical obstacles, 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 when organizing your industrial space to lease. You may consider hiring a professional organizer specializing in warehouse workflow and processes.

2. Examine storage methods.

There are many ways to store your inventory within your new warehouse space, so choose the right method for your business.

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

Storage organization comes down to your business process. Be clear about your overall business plan when implementing your storage capabilities. A professional organizer experienced in inventory and warehouse spaces can help you perfect your new rental unit.

3. Create a detailed plan.

Planning can be tedious, but it is critical to the long-term organization of your warehouse rental. 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 you detail, the better off you’ll be. This plan needs to be specific to ensure an organized practice for the future.



Hire a Commercial Real Estate Firm to Help You Find Warehouse Space in Columbus, Ohio

As mentioned, warehouse rentals and other industrial space to rent or lease are rather hard to find. Don’t rely on luck when it comes to your warehouse property search. Hire the best team to discover your next warehouse to lease. With 85 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 for warehouse rentals today at 614-221-4286.


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