More of northeast Indiana’s industrial space is occupied than a year ago, according to a survey the Zacher Co. released Thursday.
The vacancy rate at the beginning of this year was 5.11 percent, representing 5,438,963 square feet of vacant space, a slight decrease from 5.25 percent or 5,494,987 square feet at the beginning of 2016, Zacher said in a report based on its 2017 Northeast Indiana Industrial Market Survey.
And new construction remained strong last year with more than 1.8 million square feet added.
The Zacher report is based on data from multiple sources, including major listing services and brokers’ listing information on websites. Information is adjusted annually based on changes including new construction and demolition.
New construction of 1,883,646 last year was down sharply from 2,871,949 in 2015. Last year’s construction, however, was more in line with the 1.4 million in 2014 and the 1.9 million in 2013, according to Zacher. The report defines the northeast Indiana real estate market as Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties.
Major construction projects included 400,000 square feet for Trinity Health XPO Logistics, which last March announced a $26 million regional distribution center on Bluffton Road in southwest Allen County. Others adding hundreds of thousands of square feet, according to the Zacher Report, include NorthPoint Development on Lafayette Center Road and Lippert Components on Ryan Road.
The market outlook is mixed with the inauguration last month of a new president, the Zacher report said.
"It may have a positive impact due to the prospect of less regulation, lower corporate tax rates and infrastructure stimulus," the report said. "Trade policy, immigration reform and the uncertainty that comes with a new administration may have a negative impact."
Overall, the outlook is positive.
"Several years of strong absorption and the recent success of spec building projects bodes well for the prospect of more speculative construction and build-to-suit development in 2017," the report said. "Low gasoline prices, strong auto sales and relatively low interest rates are the main drivers of growth for industrial real estate in northeast Indiana."