Chasing the Unicorn: Why Industrial Developers Seek Out Elusive Urban Infill Sites

February 12, 2020

I.CON: Industrial Real Estate

Bisnow interviewed Leslie Lanne, managing director at JLL and speaker at the upcoming I.CON Spring 2020, April 2-3 in Huntington Beach, California. See an excerpt of the article below, and register online for the biggest conference in industrial real estate.

What makes urban infill desirable? For infill properties to be attractive, cities need two factors: population density and vehicle congestion, JLL Managing Director Leslie Lanne told Bisnow in a recent interview. This combination provides a large group of consumers plus enough traffic to make it prohibitively expensive or time-consuming to deliver goods from larger suburban facilities.

Lanne will moderate a panel on industrial development of urban infill sites at NAIOP’s upcoming I.CON Spring industrial conference. Read an excerpt of the Bisnow article below and register today for I.CON Spring, April 2-3 in Huntington Beach, California.

The article reads, in part:

The vacant lots that dot the dense cores of American cities might seem unloved, but they have a set of secret admirers. In their race to build ever closer to urban consumers, industrial developers want to snap up these properties and turn them into distribution and logistics hubs so they can provide cheap and speedy delivery to the urban masses.

However, finding a viable infill site can be a struggle. Even if an industrial developer identifies a property, it can still face stiff competition from developers from other asset classes, as well as myriad financial and logistical hurdles.

But with industrial land scarcer than it has ever been, the opportunity to build on these underdeveloped lots is attractive enough to inspire developers to face down immense challenges.

“Developers are turning over every rock looking for these sites,” JLL Managing Director Leslie Lanne said. “And whenever they stumble on a well-located infill property, they're sure to encounter competitors who want the space just as much.”

Read the full article on Bisnow.