Real Estate Broker, Consultant, and Advisory Services


The warehouse distribution category of industrial real estate comprises over 55 percent of the entire national industrial inventory, which probably exceeds 14 billion square feet within the United States.  Warehouses can have a variety of descriptive names, including bulk warehouses, regional warehouses, office warehouse, or big box.  Each name describes a feature that is unique to that building type.  Bulk warehouse and bib box refer to the buildings size.  Office warehouse refers to a percentage of office build out.  All warehouses have common attributes that classify them within the primary category of warehouse distribution.

The warehouse distribution category is derived from the functions of warehousing and distribution of goods.  The portion of warehousing versus distribution also varies according to building type.  The variety of function within a category is an excellent example of the diversity of industrial real estate.

The core differentiating features of warehouses are overall building design, ceiling height, and loading capabilities.  Most warehouse distribution buildings are rectangular in shape, thus the term big box is used in some descriptions.  In order to be classified as a warehouse, buildings that are not pefect boxes must hace exterior walls that allow efficient warehousing and distribution by one single tenant.  Most buildings that do not meet this requirement are classified a multi-tenant facilities.  This exterior wall requirement does not signify that all warehouses are occupied by one tenant but rather, that these buildings potentially could be occupied by a single tenant.

Ceiling height is another differentiating feature of warehouse distribution facilities.  A building that is a perfect box in shape must have ceiling height within a specified range.  Ceiling heights in warehouse distribution facilities can range from 16 feet to 80 feet in certain rack supported buildings.

Warehouse distribution buildings have loading requirements that exceed those of all other primary categories except freight.  The functions of warehousing and distribution involve the movement of goods at high volume and or high frequency.  This high volume and / or frequency require adequate loading capabilities.  Warehouse distribution facilities have a high range of 3,000 to 15,000 square feet to one dock.  The average is typically 10,000 per dock.

The warehouse distribution category has five secondary categories:  Regional Warehouse, Bulk Warehouses, Heavy Distribution, Refrigerated Distribution and Rack Supported

Additional attributes that are unique to each  secondary category include dock configurations, trailer parking, power and floor load and levelness.  These features are unique, and consistently present and recognizable in each category