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Area industrial development sees uptick

The industrial and manufacturing sectors in the Miami Valley are making gains, with the lowest vacancy rate for industrial properties since the early 2000s.

The data reflect a resurgence in the two sectors, according to a report from the Miller-Valentine Group. The vacancy rate for industrial properties has dropped to about 12 percent in Dayton this year.

In 2015, a vacancy rate of about 14 percent was reported for the area. The industrial market has not reached rates this low since the early 2000s, said Dave Dickerson, president and partner for Miller-Valentine.

“It’s the continued strength of the industrial market here,” he said. “It’s been slow and gradual coming out of the recession.”

Dickerson said the gains are a product of businesses such as Fuyao Glass, Meijer and Procter & Gamble investing and expanding in the region. As companies and organizations plant roots in the area, more of the existing property inventory has filled.

When property options become limited to tenants and buyers, “it almost forces them to expand or build something new,” according to Dickerson. Some areas have seen more significant growth — specifically alongside the I-75 corridor.

According to the Miller-Valentine report, East Dayton had a 7.45 percent vacancy rate and North Dayton was at 10.18 percent. The South Dayton market showed the greatest improvement in 2016, absorbing over 300,000 square feet of space.

Ric Moody, broker and auctioneer for Dayton Commercial Realty, said he gets many calls from buyers and leasers who are interested in finding industrial space.

“The economy has truly come back,” Moody said. “We’ve seen such a resurgence of small business, and those are the companies that are expanding here. They’ll move from five to eight employees, or from 10 to 20. Those are the people who are wanting warehouse or industrial space.”

Dickerson said sales prices are rising and some landlords are requiring longer, more expensive leases. The continued increase in construction pricing is fueling the competition with tenants and buyers.

“I think we will continue to see that market expansion with the increase in competition,” he said.