A funny thing happened when Knott Realty Group began constructing its Meridian Center North industrial building in Lee County earlier this year: It found tenant sizes were waxing.
“Over the past six months, we have experienced a substantial increase in the size of the average space requirement through the marketplace,” says Derek Bornhorst, a principal with commercial real estate brokerage Lee & Associates, which is leasing the property on behalf of the Timinium, Md.-based development firm.
Bornhorst says the industrial vacancy rate of 2% in the county, combined with industry adaptations toward e-commerce and “last mile” delivery have caused tenant requirements to jump.
This time last year, the typical industrial requirement in Southwest Florida was between 15,000 square feet and 20,000. Today, more typically tenants are seeking spaces ranging in size from 30,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet.
Knott Realty is on pace to deliver the first of two buildings in the planned 360,000-square-foot industrial park this fall. A second building in the 27-acre, Fort Myers project will commence before the end of this year, Knott officials say.