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By Accord Real Estate Group

The Future of Warehouses

November 26th 2023
Tags: Real Estate News

Multi-Story / Urban Logistics – The Future of Warehouses

Warehouses, how they are conceived and built is undergoing a revolution in the United States. The vision and design points toward no longer is there a need to have sprawling space on one floor. Multi-Story buildings with docks on more than one level is the future of warehouses. Several such facilities already exist or are in the process of being built.

According to a new report by Leslie Lanne, Senior Managing Director with JLL, 2023 is the 5 year anniversary of multi story warehouse development in the nation. This new category of buildings even has its own name “Urban Logistics”. Amazon has driven some of this growth in the U.S.

Multi- Story warehouses already exist in Asia and Europe. Prologis, one of the largest warehouse owners in the United States has built a 3 level, 590,000 square foot warehouse in a partnership with Craft Architects in Georgetown Crossroads in Seattle. According to Prologis, this warehouse has 62 dock doors on the 1st floor and 38 on the 2nd level. The 3rd level contains a maker's space (collaborative workspace). There are truck ramps to the 2nd and 3rd floors, served by forklift accessible freight elevators for lighter scale operations.

Lanne explains “The Multi staged parking levels allow for efficient streamlining of the queuing process of delivery trucks when using fleet vehicles for last mile delivery operations”.

In the Bronx, located at 2505 Bruckner Boulevard, the site of the former Whitestone Cinemas is where New York City's largest multi-story logistics facility was developed in 2022, having 1.07M square feet. Amazon has taken 568,543 square feet of the 1st level.

According to Lanne “There are now 5 existing multi-story buildings in the New York City boroughs and another 5 under construction.

Lanne's report also observes “While the U.S. Multi-Story and Urban Logistics landscape is currently very much in its infancy, there is tremendous potential in both established markets such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Mid Atlantic, Chicago, San Francisco as well as Los Angeles and in emerging markets such as Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston and Seattle.

Efficient site planning and careful layout of the loading docks and parking are crucial. Multi-Story/ Urban Logistics developers face many challenges such as outdated zoning laws, scarcity of available land, financing and much higher construction costs.

To be continued...

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