Technology, Creative Firms Flock to Converted Industrial Spaces

Industrial buildings offer tremendous value-add opportunity for developers with unique vision

As published in the Hauppauge Reporter
By Richard Neuman
Vice President & Long Island Market Lead
Project and Development Services
JLL

Companies in the technology and creative sectors are increasingly turning to leasing office space in renovated and repositioned former industrial buildings. These properties are typically very adaptable, many times offering interesting features, larger floor plates and high ceilings that can serve as the launching pad for a unique office design that makes a strong visual impact.

Offices with high ceilings can contribute to creative thinking, while smaller spaces may assist in focusing the efforts of employees. A converted industrial building that includes both larger spaces and smaller offices can help amplify both of these effects.

The building infrastructure that once supported heavy-duty industrial processes make these buildings highly adaptable into unique and highly desired workspaces. Although industrial conversions typically cost more than renovating an office building, these projects tend to create unique spaces, such as freestanding mezzanines and multiuse rooms, that increase usable floor space and overall efficiency.

Creatively designed converted industrial spaces are extremely attractive to technology companies in competitive markets like the New York metropolitan region. The ability to offer an attractive and distinctive workplace can serve as crucial tool in attracting and retaining talent

Although industrial conversions typically cost more than renovating an office building, these projects tend to create unique spaces that can lead to greater employee satisfaction – and at 35 percent below the cost of a new build. Free-standing internal structures such as mezzanines and pods reduce the average construction cost per cubic foot, by increasing the usable floor space and occupational efficiency

The demand for refurbished warehouses will continue to rise in the New York region although, in most of the region, there is a limited supply of such buildings to convert. The need to take an original approach to each project also puts some constraints on how fast these projects make it to market.

The Hauppauge Industrial Park is well positioned to take advantage of that trend. The revitalization plan includes implementing zoning changes to allow for increased building heights, zoning overlays, mixed-use buildings and other adjustments needed to develop warehouse facilities that will attract ecommerce retailers.

For developers looking for value-add opportunities in leasing out converted industrial spaces, many of the park’s industrial buildings offer tremendous investment potential. These properties have the high volume of floor space and infrastructure that building owners can use to create flexible workplaces that facilitate business growth.

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