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The Unexpected Challenges (and Solutions) of Multilevel Warehouse Design

Costco
  • By Russ Hazzard, Jonathan Chang, Development Magazine (photo of Vancouver, B.C. Costco by Raef Grohne)

Experiences in Canada and Asia provide case studies for building these complex properties.

Over the past 15 years, multilevel warehouses — particularly those used for retail purposes — have been a growing trend across Asia and, more recently, in the United States. However, some challenges accompany their design and construction that are not encountered in the traditional approach to large-format retail. With operational criteria at the top of the list, these challenges vary heavily based on several factors, including location, footprint, environment, jurisdictional requirements, and cultural and community influences.

The increase in demand for and construction of multilevel warehouses has unearthed numerous unique considerations not present in traditional warehouse environments. These challenges — each intricate in their own right — have required creative solutions and careful programming to successfully bring each project to life.

Parking and Vehicle Flow

One of the most critical design challenges for vertical warehouses is the traffic flow of vehicles and the structure’s parking. While the goal is to keep the sales level on a single floor for ease of operations and the consumer’s shopping experience, parking for multilevel warehouses can reside either above or below grade. Both options have pros and cons: Below-grade parking requires excavation, which can increase costs and complications. However, it provides a solution for lot coverage or height restrictions in situations where those apply. Above-grade or rooftop parking is preferred as it saves both construction time and money.

Customized resolutions to optimize vehicle traffic flow and increase ease of parking have also been employed, varying from warehouse to country to country. For example, in Sinjhuang, Taiwan, indication lights for open parking spaces are used to determine capacity at a glance. In Suzhou, China, car ramps at the entrance steer customers directly up to each floor, allowing them to bypass complete levels. Larger-than-regulation parking spaces — typically very compact in Asia — are also used, granting customers peace of mind. There is no need to worry about maneuvering around tightly packed vehicles in the garage. As an added benefit, large spaces also increase vehicle flow; running in and out of an area is completed in one move vs. two or three.

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UDO: Planning Committee to Review and Recommend

Compiled from REBIC, staff reports

REBIC’s Rob Nanfelt reported Tuesday that the City’s Planning Committee is taking up the matter of the proposed Unified Development Ordinance. Next month, committee members will take any additional recommendations before the third/final draft.

Last week, the Charlotte City Council received comments from the community during a public hearing on the proposed UDO. Click here to view the resolution. The entire hearing is available to view here – beginning approximately at the 2:51:30 mark.   

Next is a review and recommendation from the City’s Planning Committee scheduled to begin Tuesday, July 19, at 5 p.m. Those interested can view it on the City’s Planning Department YouTube Channel. The complete agenda and meeting packet is available here.

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Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2022 U.S. Edition

 

originally published by Brian Lewandowski, Jacob Dubbert, Michael P. Kercheval, Ph.D., and Richard Wobbekind, Ph.D. with permission to repost.

NAIOP Economic Pic

Development and construction of new commercial real estate in the United States – office, industrial, warehouse, and retail – generates significant economic growth at the state and national levels. This annual study, “The Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2022 U.S. Edition,” published by the NAIOP Research Foundation, measures the contribution to GDP, salaries and wages generated and jobs supported from the development and operations of commercial real estate.

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How Will Inflation Impact Commercial Real Estate?

 

originally published by GARY TASMAN for NAIOP National with permission to repost. 

Inflation Picture

 

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The Most Valuable Asset: Expanding the CRE Talent Pool

originally published by Rochelle Broder-Singer for NAIOP National

WomenInCRE

To address its ongoing talent shortage, the commercial real estate industry must look outside of traditional recruiting avenues and consider people with nontraditional career paths.

Ten years ago, great employees seemed much easier to find – an organization might find three excellent candidates for anyone open position. Today, it can feel like there are no great candidates available.

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Grant Hill on Coach K, Leadership and Attracting Young People to CRE

originally published by Brielle Scott for NAIOP National

Grant Hill

Attendees at CRE. Converge this week had the unique opportunity to hear from seven-time NBA All-Star and sports icon Grant Hill. Skip Kalb, principal, Skip Kalb Strategies, LLC, and incoming chair of the NAIOP Research Foundation, interviewed Hill about lessons learned through his time in the NBA, his recent appointment to lead the USA Basketball Men’s National Team in the 2024 Olympics, his transition to a powerhouse commercial real estate investor and owner in several markets across the country, and more. 

Read the Full Article Here!

Build-to-Suit vs. Spec: Which Building is Right For a Specific Company?

originally published by K.J. Jacobs for NAIOP National

Building Pic

Businesses that are young and growing might lean toward spec; older, established firms could favor build-to-suits.

When it comes to choosing the right building, there are several questions an organization must ask itself. Is the company at a place where it can invest in a building that will attract prospective employees? Is the company looking for a more temporary or flexible workplace? Is the facility able to support the organization’s needs for production, research, collaboration or innovation? 

Since each company’s requirements, goals and operations are unique, as are each facility’s offerings and characteristics, the answers will vary depending on who’s asking. 

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A Two-Dimensional Approach to Evaluating Commercial Real Estate Markets

originally published by Maria Sicola, Charles Warren, PhD, and Megan Weiner of CityStream Solutions, LLC and posted for NAIOP Global

In 2020, the NAIOP Research Foundation published A New Look at Market Tier and Ranking Systems, which identified the limitations of one-dimensional tier and ranking systems that are commonly used to evaluate metropolitan commercial real estate markets. When tailored to the needs of a specific type of investor, these models can help prioritize markets for consideration. However, tier and ranking reports designed for a more general audience tend to be of only limited use to most end-users since they do not account for differences in investment strategy, risk tolerance or specialization. Further, all tier and ranking models condense complex market characteristics into a single score, providing only limited information that investors can use to evaluate and compare different markets.

Read the Full Article Here!

 

The Vaccines are Here. What Happens Next?

Originally published  by Trey Barrineau for NAIOP Spring 2021 Issue

The rollout of immunizations to defeat COVID-19 has enormous implications for the commercial real estate industry.

In late 2020, the U.S. and other countries began distributing vaccines to control the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the single most important development in the year-long fight against the disease, which has killed and sickened millions around the world and crippled the global economy.

The stakes are high. The vaccines will not only save lives and boost the morale of hundreds of millions who have been forced to live constrained lives due to lockdowns and other public health measures; experts say they are also the most important factor in the overall economic recovery from the pandemic. The commercial real estate industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, particularly the retail, office, and lodging sectors.

“If we get 70% to 85% of the country vaccinated by the end of the summer, I believe by the time we get to the fall, we will be approaching a degree of normality,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Biden, said in late January. “It’s not going to be perfectly normal, but one that I think will take a lot of pressure off the American public.”

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[NEW] Commercial Real Estate Compensation Reports

Originally published on December 2, 2020, by NAIOP.

Recruiting and retaining top talent has become essential in today's highly competitive marketplace.

Is your salary and bonus package competitive? Find out with the 2020 NAIOP/CEL Commercial Real Estate Compensation and Benefits Reports.

These valuable reports enable commercial real estate businesses to stay current on salaries, bonuses, and benefits for professionals in executive and entry-level positions. The reports include submissions from over 300 companies; salary, bonus, incentives, and benefits for up to 200 positions; and data from 100,000 distinct jobs in the office/industrial, retail and residential property sectors.

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