Secondary industrial markets are displaying demographic expansion, profitable lease rates and availability of developable land that has resulted in greater growth than primary markets, according to a recent report from Colliers International.
Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and the Lehigh Valley are among the markets that successfully recovered from their corrosive economic decline. Cincinnati’s industrial evolution is driven by advanced manufacturing, the automotive industry and e-commerce. Amazon’s presence is providing an additional boost. The powerhouse is developing the $1.5-billion Amazon Air cargo hub, which is slated to spread across more than 900 acres near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. On the larger map, the area also benefits from its central location.
Indianapolis, which sits at the intersection of eight interstate systems, offers similar qualities. Additionally, low tax rates and simple tax codes make Indiana one of the most business-friendly U.S. states. The metro also houses the second-largest FedEx hub in the world. It employs more than 700 full-time and 3,000 part-time workers.
St. Louis has a strong freight rail network that attracts investor interest, with the market recording ongoing positive absorption. The area’s strong industrial footprint is largely due to the presence of the Port of Metropolitan St. Louis, which extends 70 miles on both sides of the Mississippi River, as well as two international airports.
In the East, the Lehigh Valley emerges as the second-best industrial market in the Northeast (topped only by Northern New Jersey). Food distribution, retail supply chains and e-commerce stimulate economic growth, while large farmland parcels provide plenty of development opportunities. The area is also close to some of the country’s largest cities, major roads, multiple ports and one of the nation’s fastest-growing cargo airports, Lehigh Valley International Airport.