The Dickman Company: Industrial activity on the rise in Southeast Wisconsin

February 13, 2013  |  Dan Rafter  |  Print Article  |  Email this Article


Here’s what you need to know from The Dickman Company, Inc./CORFAC International’s 2012 year-end industrial market report for Southeast Wisconsin: Vacancies are down. Net absorption is up. And the number of transactions is on the rise.

In other words, the Dickman Company report provides yet more evidence that the commercial real estate industry across the Midwest is in recovery mode.

And remember, not only did Wisconsin have to suffer through the uncertainty of the national presidential elections last year like the rest of us, state residents also had to deal with the effort to recall — unsuccessfully — Gov. Scott Walker in 2012. It’s impressive, then, that the industrial market was so strong last year in Southeast Wisconsin.

According to the Dickman Company, the overall industrial vacancy rate for the region in 2012 fell to 6.5 percent from 7.1 percent.

The area also saw positive net absorption of more than 3.6 million square feet. This now makes two-and-a-half straight years of no negative absorption in the Southeast Wisconsin industrial market.

Waukesha County saw an especially good year in this sector. Industrial vacancy here fell to 4.1 percent. ABB purchased its industrial building in the county for $9 million. And the company, to make room for its manufacturing operations, is moving its administrators to Wauwatosa’s UWM Innovation Campus. Construction on this 95,000-square-foot office building is expected to start in the spring.

Also last year, Clarion Partners sold five industrial buildings totaling 606,903 square feet to Zilber Property Group for more than $29 million. The properties are located in Milwaukee, Oak Creek and Pleasant Prairie.

In fact, the Dickman Company had plenty of positive things to say about the Pleasant Prairie submarket. In addition to the Zilber transacstion, the area saw Meijer purchase the 580,000-square-foot SuperValu distribution center for $29 million. The supermarket chain plans to build a 253,577-square-foot addition to the distribution center by 2014. This will help provide supplies to stores the company plans to open in Oak Creek, Wauwatosa, Sussex, Grafton and Kenosha.

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