Warehouses —A Great Investment


When Syndicates, partnerships, investment companies and their individual participants look at investments in commercial properties, many tend to look at properties that have that bewitching charm of glamour in brochures. A beautiful office building or an enclosed shopping center seem to have a more acceptable “status” as an investment property. These buildings can be nice to drive by and point out as “our” investment.

Originally, any property designated as a “warehouse” would always be located in areas zoned for industrial use. There is not nearly as much allure in a squat bulky warehouse building. The physical attractiveness is not there in color flyers and photographs. However, as money makers, these bulky buildings can be a very profitable real estate investment.

A recent check in one area showed a vacancy rate in distribution warehouses of 4% to 6%, while office buildings had a 10.7% vacancy level. The vacancy rate for warehouses remains low in good times and bad. If there is a slump in demand for real estate, commercial real estate should not be affected. The demand for space in warehouses should remain the same.

When choosing a site for a new facility installation, think first of the renters who will be your customers. Does the warehouse have easy access from a major highway or Interstate? Will the driveways and parking areas accommodate large trucks? Is the facility very close to any houses or residential areas that will complain about the noisy trucks?

Expenses and Income

The normal costs of operating any rental property are the utilities, insurance, property taxes, management and maintenance.

Access and parking are important. There should be direct access to each unit by a vehicle with multiple trailers. There should be room for these vehicles to turn around or be passed by another car or truck. Loading docks are provided at most commercial-oriented warehouses.

Security: The latest state-of-the-art equipment makes the convenience of round-the-clock access available with no loss of security. There can be computer-controlled entry gates and individual alarms in each unit with security cameras installed in various places around the facility. If the building is a conversion of an existing property, windows should be sealed. All entrances and exit doors should be barred and locked. Building a new facility is easier, with fences, electronic gates and alarms built in originally.