By Aaron Jodka | FEBRUARY 2020
At the Colliers In Focus Live “Main Stage” event at Big Night Live, Senior Vice President PJ Foster got the best laugh of the night, noting that “strong, record-breaking, at an all-time high” are words that describe both her and the state of the industrial market in Greater Boston. She used Amazon to make her case.
The e-commerce giant occupies two million SF of distribution, warehouse, and robotics space today in greater Boston, with another five million SF underway or recently leased. These commitments, she noted, put Amazon on track to be the largest for-profit occupier in Massachusetts. And for a fun fact: there are almost seven million residents in Massachusetts, so at seven million SF, Amazon will occupy one SF per person in the state. And this doesn’t include the one million SF in signed LOIs Amazon had at the time of her presentation.
What effect does all of Amazon’s leasing have on the market? Rising industrial rents, expanded geographic searches for competing tenants, and new development. There are 34 development projects underway across the market, totaling 5.5 million SF, Foster said. Eighteen are speculative and only two are within the 128 belt. Boston’s industrial market needs to be able to accommodate industrial needs in the inner suburbs. Perhaps multi-story industrial could be the solution: Boston’s high land values, constraints, and demand are making our market a prime candidate for that kind of development.