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Big Box Retail Eyed As Good Candidate For Warehouse Conversions

As retail struggles throughout the pandemic, there are many arguments for converting slumping shopping centers into new uses.

Big box retail hasn’t suffered as much as mom-and-pop stores, gyms and restaurants. Still, investors and developers are looking to warehouse conversions as a way to take advantage of the higher returns and strong rental growth of the logistics sector, according to Stuart Taylor, senior director of retail investments for JLL in a new post.
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A Safe Bet: South Florida’s Industrial Market Could Boom After Pandemic

safe bet

Industrial developer Jose Hernandez-Solaun of The Easton Group has seen Amazon spur the rise of e-commerce over the last few years. But now, he sees the coronavirus pandemic rapidly ramping up that growth — putting it on steroids.

“What we are finding now is the coronavirus effect,” said Hernandez-Solaun. “If the Amazon effect was strength training, this was what you get on performance-enhancing drugs.”

Hernandez-Solaun and other South Florida industrial brokers and developers say the sector could benefit in the long-term from many of the behavioral changes spurred by the crisis. Consumers, increasingly from older generations, will shift more of their spending to e-commerce. More manufacturers will come to the Americas from China. And after experiencing inventory shortages, more warehouses will be needed, experts say.

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Industrial’s Hot Streak Projected To Hold

New numbers have confirmed that 2019 was a monumental year for industrial real estate, with total volume soaring to a record high of $102B, JLL reports.

That propulsion is expected to carry into 2020. JLL predicts industrial volumes in 2020 will continue to boom, with large-scale portfolio deal flows that are slated to finish during the first two quarters of 2020.

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