Market Stirrings

As the fourth quarter of a disappointing 2014 gets underway there are rumblings from the marketplace that suggest that the steady improvement in the economy may be loosening the purse strings that owners have kept tight. Given that this year has seen more fits and starts than any in memory, you might want to take the uptick in activity with a grain of salt but there are some users out there looking for bigger spaces.

Sippel Development brought plans for a 305,000 sq. ft. FedEx distribution center in Jackson Twp. north of Zelienople. Jackson Taylor Contractors from Mentor, OH is the project’s contractor.

Fourth River Development is finalizing approvals for a 104,000 sq. ft. industrial building at Starpointe that will be anchored by Mach 1 Global Services taking half the building. Dynamic Building Co. will build that project. Continental/Chaska has started Building 300 at the Pittsburgh International Business Park. That’s a 55,000 sq. ft. spec flex office. Interest is high in that property and the next building there is likely to be larger, perhaps 100,000 sq. ft.

Beyond the horizon of those projects, Chapman Properties is looking more seriously at starting the first large spec building at its Chapman Westport property, probably something in the 90,000 sq. ft. range. And the most interesting prospect out there is an RFP for architectural/engineering services for a 250,000 sq. ft. building from a confidential client. Those looking at the RFP have been given no specific indication of the site or the user. There have been a couple 250,000 sq. ft. users in the market during the last few years (USSteel, Chevron, etc.) but this appears to be a different company than those being shopped previously.

The construction boom that occurred between recessions kicked off with a big jump in activity in the last quarter of 2004. Let’s hope for deja vu all over again.

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