LIVE BLOG: State of the Industrial Market

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A panel of experts including CenterPoint’s Paul Fisher, First Industrial’s David Harker and Ryan Cos.’s Tim Hennelly are discussing the state of the Chicago-area industrial market here at the 9th Annual CIP Industrial Summit.

9:10 a.m. — Harker on market fundamentals: “The last few years, we’ve seen a lot of growth from smaller, independent companies with bank debt (not bond debt). They’re a lot more active than they were in ’09 and ’10.”

9:13 a.m. — Fisher on location: “It’s our opinion that those markets with good access to rail are going to come out ahead. Intermodal is just such an area of focus for tenants. To that end, we’re trying to migrate our company from an industrial company to a logistics company.”

9:22 a.m. — Fisher on the labor market: “We have a structural problem in the labor market … a mismatch of skills. it’s a misnomer that manufacturing doesn’t get done in the U.S. It does, but it requires highly, skilled, highly sophisticated workers. We need more programs that train workers with those kinds of skills.”

9:30 a.m. — Harker on Chicago’s competitive disadvantage: “I’ve done deals this year with companies in Nashville, Memphis, Indiana and Wisconsin who all pulled out of Chicago. They’re scared.”

9:33 a.m. — Harker on lease terms: “Now we’re getting pushed by tenants to do longer lease terms (because of the low interest rates).”

9:37 a.m. — Fisher on the investment market: “I think expectations for pricing are realigning and we’re going to see a lot more product come to market.”

9:42 a.m. — Harker on where today’s opportunities lie: “As a company, we’re very committed to investing on both coasts. We’ve got five projects underway right now: three in California and two on the East Coast.”

9:47 a.m. — Hennelly on opportunities: “There’s a case to be built for Elgin and the I-90 corridor (Randall Road). If you take a look at demand out there, it warrants spec building.”

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