Supply chain disruptions, remote work arrangements and a desire to reduce overhead expenses are just a few reasons why more businesses seek a warehouse flex-space environment.
Flex properties are industrial or commercial warehouse spaces adapted to a variety of business needs. Higher demand today means that warehouse space is very difficult to come by, resulting in more new construction warehouse flex-space buildouts in second-tier cities.
Some companies that planned to expand office space prior to the pandemic have pulled back to rethink their spaces. Flexible warehouse spaces offer customizable approaches to hybrid office spaces, data centers and special event and training spaces while naturally providing ample delivery access, parking and storage.
If your business is seeking warehouse flex-space, or already has a warehouse space that needs remodeling, working with the right broker, contractor and commercial construction services group is important. You need to understand:
HBW Construction has built new warehouse space for decades, and our commercial construction services group is uniquely qualified to remodel, upgrade or adapt these spaces for many business types. We have recently adapted warehouse flex-space for retail breweries and restaurants, pet grooming/training businesses, auto repair and HVAC companies, medical product manufacturing, real estate showrooms and professional services groups.
Rather than having one owner or lessee, some warehouse developers and owners accommodate several short- or long-term tenants. For example, the space can be designed into several units for short-term leasing or modeled like an association with purchased units. Short-term leasing provides flexibility for businesses that will go back to traditional office space in the future. The long-term option is an investment that each unit owner can depreciate for tax purposes and sell in the future, similar to a condo.
Almost any business type can consider warehouse flex-spaces. Buildouts can rival the nicest offices/lab spaces. They can also remain open concept and rugged with high ceilings and the advantage of flexible indoor/outdoor spaces. For one project, we installed an indoor pool! For another client, we built an apartment inside the warehouse to serve as a real estate showroom.
One of the first discussions we have with clients is about their project goals. This helps us develop a preliminary budget so that clients can assess and anticipate their priorities for the warehouse flex-space.
For example, a client may want a large overhead door that accommodates an indoor/outdoor space. That design choice can impact HVAC or insulation budgets depending on the climate. Another client may need specialized lab space subject to certain regulations or safety systems, the cost of which must be factored into the estimated budget. As with any new construction or remodeling project, budgets can range widely in warehouse flex-space.
By using an experienced commercial construction services group, however, you can achieve efficiency through the construction project schedule. HBW has a full team of experienced tradespeople including master carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, finishers, etc., who work together regularly. Their long working relationships also support quality control on your project.
If you have any questions about identifying warehouse flex sites, we can refer you to trusted brokers or management companies. For your warehouse flex-space goals and budgeting for projects in the Northeast (DMV) region, contact us for a conversation.
Larry Palmer is vice president of HBW’s services division and Eileen Engels is our business development representative.