Thursday, April 29, 2010

PDX Industrial Market Looking Up in First Quarter

Industrial vacancy decreased slightly to 14.56%, with 118,458 sf absorbed. Vacancy in North/Northeast remained stable at 17.58%. Some large leases were signed in this submarket, including Owens Corning leasing 123,120 sf at Bybee Lake Logistics Center – Phase II. Ferrotec USA and Archive Systems also signed leases at Birtcher Center @ Townsend Way totaling 81,850 sf. Vacancy in Vancouver decreased about 1.5 percentage points, as 82,800 sf was leased up at Hart Industrial Center, bringing that property to 100% occupancy, and 40,267 sf was leased at Westside Business Center.

Flex vacancy rose nearly two percentage points to 18.01%, with 166,559 sf of newly available space coming back on the market. Much of this space can be accounted for by Intel, which vacated more than 100,000 sf at the Amberglen Business Center in moving back to its headquarters, pushing Southwest Sunset’s vacancy up more than two percentage points to 19.71%. Some positive absorption did occur, though. BiAmp Systems leased 50,963 sf at Nimbus Corporate Center in the Southwest 217 submarket, whose vacancy stayed fairly flat at 17.76%.

Market Trends
The industrial market showed continued signs of a slow but steady recovery during First Quarter. Vacancy in the Portland metro area, though still high, appears to have stopped rising, and construction and new deliveries have been so limited of late that the market isn’t burdened by oversupply. National economic indicators were looking up. Factory orders rose 1.7% in January, the largest increase in four months, with heightened demand for commercial aircraft, and industrial production rose 0.1% in February.

Manufacturers continue to invest in the Portland metro area. LaCrosse Footwear is moving production of Danner boots to a new 59,000 sf factory about a mile from its Northeast Portland headquarters, a facility twice the size of its current plant, which it is replacing. Production is expected to begin there in Third Quarter 2010. Boeing is also investing up to $120 million in upgrading its operation in Gresham, which will add 152 jobs in the next three years. It will build a new 60,000 sf facility on its 87-acre campus where it will treat metals used in making commercial aircraft.

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