Designing for the Industrial Spec Building Boom

Apr 20, 2023

The Triangle was ranked as the fourth fastest-growing U.S. metropolitan area in 2022 by the Kenan Institute’s American Growth project, an unsurprising statistic to Raleigh and Durham residents who have witnessed firsthand the boom in business and industry. While office buildings and residential builds have dominated headlines in the Triangle’s real estate market, industrial warehouse space has also been in high demand, pushing more developers to pursue build-to-suit and speculative projects across the region.

The rising price of land inside Wake and Durham Counties has also pushed commercial development towards the region’s outlying communities, such as Johnston and Chatham Counties, which are rapidly expanding in terms of population growth and in the construction of commercial real estate. As more companies announce new headquarters and move to the Triangle, the increase in demand for cost-efficient and flexible warehouse space has risen dramatically.

Though warehouse space is an obvious need for many commercial companies, the uptick in industrial building construction and demand has roots in lingering supply chain issues post-COVID-19. More warehouse storage capability leads to more products that are available to sell and ship as soon as possible, a boon for companies struggling to keep up with demand. Fulfilling online orders has also become a top priority, as internet-driven sales ballooned during-and-post the COVID-19 lockdown and many manufacturers brought overseas facilities back to the United States.

HagerSmith Design has collaborated with longtime partners and new clients to design warehouses and industrial parks around the metropolitan area, not only for existing customer demand but for future commercial needs. As vacancies in existing industrial spaces tighten, developers are requesting builds for warehouses and labs with the anticipation that tenants will lease the space when construction is completed, adding spec buildings into HagerSmith’s lineup of industrial build-to-suit projects. While spec buildings have been historically risky builds, the flexibility of warehouse space becomes an asset in markets where companies are racing to quickly deliver and manufacture goods.

Completed in 2022, the Garner Industrial Park showcases our Architecture team’s ability to design and plan attractive, streamlined industrial buildings that can be used for large-capacity distribution and manufacturing. With four shell buildings totaling 610,000 SF, HagerSmith ensured that companies would have everything they need for efficient production with interior fit-ups, 32’/36’ clearance, and tilt concrete construction. All four buildings are currently occupied by corporations such as Lowes, MD Logistics, Packrat, Hildrup Moving and Storage, and LKQ.

In Durham, the South Miami Boulevard light industrial and flex complex totals around 150,000 SF and comprises one single-story flex building and three separate warehouse buildings with a clear height of 24 feet, dock-high and drive-in doors, and plenty of parking spaces for employees. This development is conveniently located just outside of the rapidly growing Research Triangle Park, and less than 1.5 miles from I-40 and NC Highway 147.

Projections for industrial needs in 2023 remain steady, and HagerSmith architects are currently developing multiple industrial and warehouse designs for contractors and clients. The demand for warehouse space around the Triangle has yet to diminish and HagerSmith looks forward to creating future partnerships and providing our services to companies seeking to expand their shipping and storage capabilities, continuing the upward trajectory of the metro area’s economic growth.

Spread the Word!

Share this article on social media or via email.

Your Goals, Our Expertise, Personalized Design

Our design process begins and ends with your vision in mind. We aim to be a part of your team and someone you want to work with every day. We empower and inform you throughout the process, working alongside you to customize every detail.

View Our Portfolio

Meet Our Team

Contact Us Today