Columbus is located within a 10-hour drive of 46 percent of the country’s population, making it a point of access for businesses and consumers. With access to top transportation networks like John Glenn International Airport, Rickenbacker International Airport, numerous rail terminals and national interstates, Columbus is a certified logistics hub. No industry accounts for more than 18 percent of employment, meaning Columbus’ economy is more diversified than ever. The area is home to numerous Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies, reinforcing its reputation as a firstclass business environment.
The Columbus industrial market continued a strong year in the third quarter, recording 1,605,350 square feet of net absorption*. This brings year-to-date net absorption to over 5.3 million square feet - outpacing 2018’s third quarter total by almost 1 million square feet. Due to strong leasing activity and consistent construction, Columbus experienced absorption greater than 1 million square feet for the ninth consecutive quarter. Vacancy continues to decline, dropping from 4.62 percent to 4.34 percent. Overall asking rates remained stable at $3.52 per square foot, but rates for R&D/ Flex properties rose slightly from $6.15 to $6.36 per square foot. This quarter, online retailers and logistics companies proved driving forces on the industrial market, with Walker Edison Furniture, ODW Logistics, Spartan Logistics and Startech.com all committing to warehouse space around the region. Growing demand in the Columbus market has led to sustained construction activity in recent years. There is currently 8.8 million square feet of product under construction, 6.9 million square feet in the pipeline and 2.8 million square feet completed year-to-date. Due to a tight labor market, the Columbus unemployment rate rose from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent this quarter. This rate is forecasted to remain stable in coming months, as the city is considered at “full employment” level. Throughout the rest of 2019, Central Ohio can expect continued growth as large build-to-suit projects reach completion and global companies occupy space in the area.
*net absorption is calculated based on commencement date
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