Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Portland Industrial Vacancy Increases Slighlty in Second Quarter


Industrial vacancy rose less than a percentage point to 15.24% during Second Quarter, with negative 354,330 sf absorbed. Southeast saw a significant increase in vacancy, to 14.35%, as United Stationers Supply Co. vacated 40,608 sf at Commerce Park – McLoughlin and relocated to 195,510 sf at Rivergate Corporate Center III in the North/Northeast submarket. Vancouver vacancy also increased about four percentage points to 15.44%, and Columbia Business Center had more than 450,000 sf available. Significant leases of the quarter included Consolidated Molding & Millworks leasing 48,000 sf and Stanton Furniture leasing 92,960 sf at 115th Commerce Park in Southwest I-5.

Flex vacancy increased slightly to 18.23%, with negative 23,633 sf absorbed, down considerably from First Quarter’s negative 166,559 sf of absorption. Vacancy in the North/Northeast submarket fell about 5% to 12.09%, and Columbia Gorge Corporate Center saw considerable activity, with Multnomah County leasing 18,150 sf and Pac/West leasing 11,950 sf.

Market Trends

Greenlight Greater Portland, a privately funded economic development group, released a report in June suggesting that manufacturing will be a major factor in Portland’s economic recovery. It predicted that the manufacturing sector could grow by 14% in the next five years.

Renewable energy companies, particularly solar power companies, continue to be active players in the Portland industrial market. Solexant Corp. is expected to receive a $25 million state loan to build a factory in the metro area to develop ultra-thin-film solar cells. The plant would initially employ 100, and could rise to the same capacity as SolarWorld in Hillsboro, which will employ 1,000 by this fall when its expansion is completed. ReVolt Technology, a battery maker, also won a $5 million U.S. government grant that will help it build a Portland plant to develop a battery for plug-in vehicles.

In other major transactions, Farwest Steel will acquire more than 20 acres from the Port of Vancouver for about $5 million. The company will build a $20 to $30 million steel processing and distribution facility that will create 125 new jobs and employ about 200 overall.

The full report is available here.

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