Industrial N Illinois

First Industrial Trust's Harker: Industrial market improvements all about national economy

David Harker says that there's no secret behind the growing amount of activity in the commercial industrial markets throughout the Midwest. As with most things, it's all about the strength of the national economy.

David Harker says that there's no secret behind the growing amount of activity in the commercial industrial markets throughout the Midwest.

As with most things, it's all about the strength of the national economy.

"The overall economy is improving. That means the industrial real estate market is improving, too," said Harker, executive vice president for the central region for Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust. "That has inspired the banks to start lending again. The big firms could always get debt. But now with things improving, the smaller private companies are able to get financing, too. That makes these companies more bullish, and gets them to think about expanding."

The good news is that Harker is far from alone in his optimistic view of today's industrial real estate market. He's joined by brokers across the region who are seeing the same thing: The level of leasing activity in the industrial market is on the rise. At the same time, vacancies are falling.

The more optimistic brokers in this field are even predicting that the Midwest will soon see at least some speculative construction in the industrial market.

No one is saying that the industrial recovery is complete. And no one argues that the market is as strong as it was before the Great Recession.

But in the last 24 months, the industrial market has been in a recovery mode. And that's good news for brokers across the Midwest.