By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Designated Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions
To some, it may just be another large building, but to those with specific business needs, a warehouse space means one thing: potential. Whether it is the potential to provide faster distribution, the potential to the manufacturer at a greater scale, or the potential to take on new opportunities, a warehouse can provide exactly what a business is looking for to grow and expand. And because it can represent so much, the need to find the exact right warehouse space becomes even more important.
Fortunately, asking the right questions and making key observations during tours can dramatically help narrow down which warehouse space will ultimately be the right space for a businesses’ needs. To help determine which industrial spot aligns best, keep the following tips in mind during warehouse tours.
As Above, So Below
The full square footage of the space is important for tenants to observe in person. Because a warehouse is used for dramatically different purposes than a standard office space, special attention will need to be paid to both the ceilings and the floors. Looking up, check to ensure the ceiling has enough clearance to accommodates specific needs such as room for machinery to maneuver within the space without obstruction, and enough space for racking.
Looking down, check that the floors are laid with a material that can hold the weight of the machinery moving through space. Most industrial flooring has a specific weight limit, so double-checking before driving something inside will be to a tenant’s benefit. Additionally, make sure the floors are in good condition, flat enough for racking and equipment, and not cracked or broken in spots. Not only will these pose as areas that need to be repaired or replaced, but they could also pose serious safety hazards.
Let There Be Light
When looking at the ceilings, also consider the lighting within the space. Proper lighting is necessary for workers to be able to clearly see what they’re doing and where they’re going, and moving in only to find that a number of lights don’t operate as intended is a pain to deal with.
Additionally, check to see where all of the outlets are, and what kind of wiring runs to each. Particularly important for tenants planning on bringing in heavy machinery, or temperature-controlled storage — such as refrigeration units — the type of wiring used throughout the warehouse needs to be able to provide the necessary amount of power. Otherwise, trying to update the wiring and outlets will be both costly and time-consuming, and can cut into the relocation budget.
Keep The Warehouse Cool/Warm
A working and responsive HVAC system is a major necessity for every warehouse, but for some needs, special attention will need to be paid to other climate conditions. For instance, if products require special ventilation or filtration systems, or if a precise humidity needs to be maintained to keep items from spoiling or degrading, then it will be necessary to see if the current HVAC system can handle the function, or if additional equipment build-out is necessary. This will also circle back around to the power needs mentioned above, as adding additional, specialized HVAC equipment will require greater electricity needs than a standard system.
The majority of tips for finding the right industrial or warehouse space revolve around prospective tenants and business owners staying prescient during touring. It is easy to become caught up with the excitement of the situation, and glossing over finer details that will come back to be costly oversights while moving into space. To help stay grounded at the moment, consider touring spaces with an independent professional broker. Not only will they help point out areas to inspect that may be otherwise overlooked, but they will also keep a businesses’ interests front and center throughout the entire process so that the businesses’ needs and future prospects are protected and uplifted by moving into a new space.
Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. provides clients with the in-depth knowledge and experience that is critical to determine the right path to your next move, lease renewal, or strategic re-positioning of your real estate portfolio. Contact us or call 847.550.0160 today about your needs, and put our success to work for you.