Purchasing or leasing industrial real estate is a major business decision. Whether you are in the process of starting a new business or are looking to expand or switch up your existing operations, your industrial property will be one of your most important assets.
The space you choose for manufacturing, storage, fulfillment, or distribution of your products will impact factors such as production efficiency, the types and sizes of machinery that can be used, overhead operating costs, the volume of products that can be stored, and more.
So, what are the most important things to consider when shopping for industrial real estate in Cleveland, Ohio?
1. Consider how much space you need.
This consideration is a great place to start, because 1) it has an objective answer and 2) that answer will narrow down your list of properties by a significant margin. A too-small space will limit your ability to grow and operate efficiently, while a too-large space will drive up costs and hurt your bottom line.
How many employees will need to work within this space, both now and in the future? What types of machinery will they need to access? How large are the products that will be stored in this industrial space, and what volume do you plan to store? Will you need onsite office or meeting space in addition to warehouse, distribution, or manufacturing space?
Once you have worked through the answers to these and other questions, you will have a solid understanding of not only the size of the space you need, but the layout, ceiling height, truck terminal capacity, and other relevant factors.
2. Prioritize legal considerations.
Industrial real estate comes with a lot of legal considerations, from zoning to safety to environmental impact. Start by considering the history of the property itself: Does it have a clean legal record? Could you become liable for any legal violations or environmental damage caused by previous owners?
Then think about the way you plan to use the property: Is it zoned for your intended use, including the use of any hazardous chemicals or other materials? Will you require permits to carry out your intended operations? Are there any environmental sustainability laws or regulations in your local area that could limit your operations?
3. Bring your checklist on property tours.
When touring multiple industrial spaces, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and be swayed by a property that looks great, but may not actually be the best for your needs. For example, maybe you’re looking at a property that is outfitted with all sorts of upgrades, but the location is far from highways and the neighborhoods where your employees live.
After creating a checklist of your property must-haves, it’s a smart idea to bring that checklist to each and every property tour. Finding a property that has every single item on your list may not be feasible, but at least you’ll be in a position to make an informed decision and be aware of potential challenges or required renovations before you sign any documents.
4. Work with a buyer’s broker or tenant representative.
Many business owners initially decide to shop around for industrial real estate on their own, before quickly realizing that the task is more complex than they had anticipated. Not only is the process of researching, vetting, and visiting available properties highly time consuming, there is also the problem of negotiating the best possible deal.
Typically, brokers are there to represent the building owner or landlord who is selling or leasing the property. It’s important to have someone in your court as well, which is why we always recommend working with either a buyer’s broker or a tenant representative who can help you find the best properties and negotiate the most favorable terms.
Shopping for an industrial property in the Greater Cleveland area? Our team has worked in this region for decades and knows the local industrial real estate market well. Contact our team of experts today!
To learn more about how CRESCO, Greater Cleveland’s leading commercial real estate company, can help you with your property needs, contact us at 216.520.1200, or fill out the form below. A CRESCO professional will contact you shortly.