NAIOP I.CON: Conference Recap

Industry professionals recently gathered virtually for I.CON, NAIOP’s annual industrial conference. During three days of online sessions, video roundtables and virtual networking, attendees explored the latest innovations in industrial real estate.

Some key takeaways from the conference include:

Wellness, flexible use, and technology are the “Big 3” – Ware Malcomb Principal, Design, Jinger Tapia participated on a panel discussing the future of industrial development. COVID-19 has increased emphasis on wellness, while the influx of e-commerce requires buildings to be flexible to accommodate last-mile infrastructure in dense urban areas. Technology continues to influence building design, with autonomous vehicles on the horizon requiring us to rethink parking and circulation.

Cold storage demand will increase over the next 5 years – Shifts in consumer habits towards online grocery and increased domestic production of food are just a couple of factors driving demand for temperature controlled buildings. Ware Malcomb Senior Project Architect and cold ready specialist Kate Lyle joined a panel of industry experts to discuss the growth of temperature controlled buildings.

WELL Building works for industrial too – While WELL Building is traditionally associated with office environments, industrial developments can also take advantage of WELL features to create equitable environments between workforces in office space and warehouse facilities. Air quality, natural lighting and access to hydration stations are examples of focus areas to improve warehouse improvements.

Despite a brief slowdown, industrial growth is trending upward – Consumer spending is on the rise and driving demand for industrial development, with e-commerce leading the way.  Growth is expected to accelerate through at least the end of the year as markets begin to return to normal. 

The overall economic outlook remains positive – While we navigate an unprecedented state of affairs, studying comparable transactions from similar situations can provide insight on how the U.S. economy will recover.  Reopening in Europe and China has led to a faster economic recovery than anticipated in those markets.  It is anticipated that despite a potential downside in Fall 2020 if Covid-19 numbers spike, 2021 will be very strong.

Since 1972, Ware Malcomb continues to be a leader in industrial design utilizing the latest trends and technologies that maximize value for our clients.  We are committed to innovate and push the limits of design and sustainability.

Check out our diverse industrial portfolio, as well as a recap to all NAIOP I.CON sessions using the links below!