There are very few industrial properties in Miami available that have a high land-to-building ratio. Meaning most Miami industrial buildings occupy the majority of the industrial land that they sit on leaving little extra land for parking, outside storage, truck courts, etc.

These industrial properties in Miami are in demand by the following business types needing additional outside storage and/or parking: light and heavy manufactures; utilities; building supplies; construction; fuel;  trucking; shipping; freight; logistics; delivery; sales, service and/or repair of vehicles, heavy equipment, and more. As you can see, this list comprises of many types of businesses that operate here. Miami’s low supply of suitable properties makes it a challenge for them to identify and acquire the right property suitable to their needs.

As a rule of thumb, most warehouses have an average parking ratio of about 1.0 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet. For example, a 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse will have about 50 parking spaces. Anything below this ratio could be a sign of parking issues. If the ratio is higher than there might be ample parking just depending on the size and layout. Another rule of thumb is that if you are seeking to building a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse for example, then you will need double the land size to put it on. So that is about 80,000 sq. ft. of land or roughly two acres.

The reasons for this lack of supply vary amongst the industrial sub-markets. In the older areas such as Hialeah and Airport East, buildings were built smaller and with lower ceiling heights. These were often constructed for clothing manufactures and food productions businesses who really did not need extra land. In addition, most of the County’s population at the time was concentrated further east and therefore workers, who often did not have their own personal cars, would walk or take the bus to work.

Nowadays in the newer sections such as Doral in Airport West Dade, larger more modern warehouses were constructed. However, due to the high demand of distribution space, most properties were built out to the minimum parking required. There is enough room for personal and trailer parking, but that’s about it. Also, outside storage can often not be allowed due to zoning or business park regulations.

The high value of land is another reason that vacant industrial sites were built out to the maximum amount possible. In the peak of the market from 2005 to 2008, industrial land was selling for about $25 per square foot or about $1,000,000 per acre. This made it cost prohibitive to acquire land that was not going to be used for vertical development which is more profitable. Miami-Dade County has the ocean on the south and east; and the Florida Everglades on the west, so there is not much more land that will be develop-able for industrial uses. We are not the only ones limited. In other parts of the country, industrial land is limited due to other natural blockades such as mountains, swamps, lakes, rivers, etc.

Recently, we just leased a 28,500 sq. ft. warehouse on two acres in Miami to a national transportation company. They appreciated the extra parking area for their trucks and personal vehicles. In fact, their broker had a very difficult time in finding a property that suited their needs. When they came across our listing, the negotiations proceeded expeditiously and the lease was soon finalized within just a few weeks.

ComReal is now marketing a 14,000 sq. ft. warehouse on two acres located at 6550 NW 74th Avenue in Miami. The entire truck court is gated and fenced in. The owner understands the value of the property. Unfortunately, too many property owners and developers make the mistake of over-building on their land. This may not only create functional issues for the property, but also severely lower the value! Prospective buyers and tenants in the market will discount the value of a property if it has functional problems. If you own or are considering buying a property, please be sure to keep in mind the future resale value of the property and the functionality to future users that will occupy it.

If your business requires an industrial warehouse building with extra land, please contact the ComReal Miami warehouse team at 786-433-2380. We specialize in these types of properties and could provide you with a preliminary site selection of available properties to suit your business operation. If you have any further questions and/or comments on this topic or a property that you have in mind, we’d be happy to discuss with you at any time.

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