Renting industrial space is a lot different than office space. There are a few components that are the same however before you go down the path of finding and leasing industrial space on your own you might consider getting some help from a local commercial realtor. If you are adamant about doing this on your own then keep the following considerations in mind.
How will your business receive, ship & distribute products?
Your industrial property will only work for you if you are able to ship and receive products. Not all industrial properties are the same. If you rely on 18 wheelers to deliver goods to you then you need to make sure the truck court is big enough for them to get in and out. You also are going to need a dock high loading area, unless you plan on using a forklift, however that will take more time to unload. Time is money. Ideally you want your location to be near major highways, airports, and or rail spurs. If you distribute products in cities and urban areas then you would want your location to be close to these areas.
Capital Expenses for Industrial Buildings
Overall industrial buildings cost less to build than office buildings, however capital expenses can be higher. For example a multistory office building has a smaller foot plate and roof than a 200,000 sf, one story warehouse. Make sure to review the lease thoroughly so you know who is responsible for what costs. Typically you will be responsible for any HVAC units in your space so make sure the units are in good condition before taking possession.
Industrial Space Ceiling Height
Warehouse and Industrial space is rented on a per square foot basis however the spaces storage capacity is based on its cubic footage. With a taller ceiling you will be able to stack more pallets, boxes, or SKUs with the right racking system. If you don't need to stack products very high then a taller building could potentially leave you with wasted space and dollars.
Door & Column Spacing
If your racks are 7 feet wide and the building columns are 20 feet apart you may end up with wasted space on either side of the column. The type of loading dock and location can also effect how efficient the space is. If you are not familiar how these types of things can impact your space efficiency then you might consider working with a space planner with warehouse space experience.
Pay attention to the design & engineering of the concrete slab. Some floors are just not made for really heavy equipment and if it's not level that could cause problems down the road. Make sure the property owner understands what you will be doing in the space and what equipment will be used so they can verify that their space will work.
Some industrial uses require a lot of power (e.g. 3 phase). Before you sign a lease make sure you confirm what type of power you will have access to. You want to make sure the space has enough power to satisfy you needs. If you find out after you sign a lease that the space does not have adequate voltage there will be issues.
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Most landlords don't automatically install HVAC in an industrial space. If you need it ask for it up front. Also, if you find a space that already has an HVAC unit ask that the landlord have it inspected and repaired (if needed) before you move in. It would not hurt to also ask them to warranty the unit for 1-2 years and put a cap on any major repairs over $500. These units are expensive so you need to make sure you know what you are doing.
If you have any questions about renting industrial space feel free to give us a call or visit our website.