As brick-and-mortar retail locations across the country continue to shutter, the hunt for prime industrial real estate is hotter than ever.
Retailers and third-party logistics providers are now seeing potential in converting abandoned malls and stores to fill their warehouse needs. Over the past few years, commercial real estate services provider CBRE has found 24 examples of former retail properties that either have been converted or are in the process of being converted into warehouse space.
For example, an old Toys R US store in Milwaukee is now home to a remanufacturer of car parts, and six empty malls across the U.S. are either in the process of being turned into or have been converted into massive manufacturing plants and logistics hubs. The empty Euclid Square Mall in Euclid, Ohio, is under construction to become home to a new Amazon e-commerce fulfillment center. And that's after Amazon already moved into a new facility where Randall Park Mall used to sit in North Randall, Ohio.
These types of projects have historically been challenging and are still somewhat rare to see through from start to finish, but David Egan, head of the industrial and logistics research division at CBRE, told CNBC that "we will see more of it. [The trend] will grow slowly, but it will grow."
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