We currently have two clients considering real estate options for expansion projects and relocating their manufacturing facilities. While many manufacturing clients tend to only look at certain aspects of a building like its façade, location, or condition of the office space, we’ve learned what the important, often cost-driven, factors are for evaluating industrial real estate beyond looks.
Disposition of town towards manufacturing
Some towns are more likely to approve certain aspects of expansion or other operational considerations such as waste, chemicals stored on site, and appearance. When considering real estate, you need to take into account any challenges you may face with regard to the town planning board’s disposition towards the various aspects of manufacturing.
Consider the surrounding neighborhood. Specific factors like neighboring manufacturing businesses, roads designed for heavy trucking and traffic, and other operations nearby could affect the flows of material and personnel with your facility as well as potentially conflicting factors like schools or homes.
Ceiling height for equipment
The facility should have high enough ceilings to accommodate any tall equipment you may need for your process. Because raising ceiling height can be one of the most expensive renovations to make, we have often found that it’s better to take the extra time to find a building with the correct ceiling height that only needs, other, less expensive renovations.
It’s important to understand your current and projected power requirements when evaluating new facilities. Particularly in New England, larger square foot buildings may not have the capacity or distribution required by an industrial user because they are often built to spec as warehouses. However, if you can find a building with an electrical service of even one or two thousand amps higher than average, this can offer substantial savings.
Existing utility infrastructure
The facility should be structurally sound with adequate building steel for roof top equipment or enough adjacent land to accommodate that equipment. There should be at least an 8” floor slab to accommodate any heavy equipment. Existing substantial HVAC units can also reduce up-front costs.
Satisfying these other factors mentioned above should be taken into account before considering other improvements, such as office space. Refurbishing an office is far less expensive than raising a roof on an entire facility to fit your equipment. If the building lacks quality office space, don’t turn away before considering these other factors.