What To Look For When Leasing Warehouse & Distribution Space

There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a space for your business.  What type of business you run is obviously the key to making this type of decision.  For example, someone looking for office space would not be concerned about clear height.  Here we take you through some common things to look for when finding the perfect home for your warehouse and/or distribution business.

The market today is competitive, so places are not always available for very long. Regardless of what kind of business you run, timing is everything.   If you find a space that would require any type of build-out or extensive renovation, this could add to your timeline and not to mention budget, thanks to supply-chain bottlenecks, shortage of materials, and lack of labor.

Industrial real estate includes anything related to production, manufacturing, storage, and distribution.  If this is the type of space you are looking for, consider clear height to be a key factor.  Clear height is defined as the usable height to which a tenant can store its product on racking.  18’ clear heights were once considered common, but nowadays the trend has shifted toward 32’-36’ clear buildings and are inching higher.  Having a higher clear height can increase warehouse efficiency by providing more cubic space.  Overall, users can increase capacity by 10 to 25 percent by going to 36-foot clear over the same footprint – resulting in a smaller floor area and lower overall rent (source: rooflifters.com).

Next up we have lighting.  LED lighting has become the leader for illuminating commercial spaces.  Not only does it consume less energy, but it can be recycled and does not contain any toxic chemicals which makes it an eco-friendlier option all around.  Since LED lighting mimics natural sunlight, it can actually increase productivity in your team members which is a hidden benefit.  It will also save on cost since it consumes less energy which can provide significant savings to your utility expenses.  In addition, they feature a longer life expectancy than halogen or mercury vapor bulbs which makes LED lighting the most practical solution if you are lighting something such as a warehouse or retail space.

A loading dock is a component of a building where materials and goods are loaded and unloaded.  Loading docks are vital because they handle all shipments from a truck.  Something to consider are the number of docks, the location of the docks, and the capacity of the dock leveler itself.  Adding additional docks or increasing the capacity of the dock can be expensive and as of late, the lead time for some of these features are 6-9 months due to the shortage of these materials.  Another consideration are the accessories that go with the doors which are a key component when deciding on warehouse space.  Each of these factors will help your business run more efficiently and smoothly.

When looking for office space as a component to the warehouse, size is the next key factor.  How many employees do you have?  Do you plan on growing your staff?  Will you need a meeting space or a conference room?  What about a cafeteria?  These are all things to consider when doing your research.  Another is parking – having sufficient parking for your employees and clients is crucial.  Knowing the type of floorplan you will need is also important; try to preview the layout ahead of time to know if the flow will work for you.

Educating yourself on these aspects, and others, will help you make your decision when moving your business to a new facility. An experienced Landlord will be well equipped to walk you through these items when presenting you with a home for your business.