More than half of largest leases occurred in Inland Empire, Atlanta, Chicago, Pennsylvania's I-78/I-81 corridor, Dallas-Fort Worth

Los Angeles – Demand for e-commerce distribution space was the impetus for many of the largest Industrial & Logistics leases completed in the U.S. in the first half of this year, highlighting users’ preference for large, modern facilities, according to a new report from CBRE.

CBRE’s analysis of the 100 largest leases for Industrial & Logistics (I&L) space by square footage found that 56 were signed by e-commerce companies and third-party-logistics companies (3PLs), which predominantly handle distribution for goods purchased online.

The balance of the first half’s largest I&L leases were signed by manufacturers (14 leases), food and beverage providers (11), retailers (seven), technology companies (four) and an “other” catch-all category (eight).

CBRE found that 30 of the leases were for warehouses larger than 750,000 sq. ft., reflecting e-commerce users’ preference for expansive facilities with high ceiling heights and, in many cases, modern specifications for automation and rapid movement of massive inventories. Cumulatively, the 100 largest leases span 67.8 million sq. ft.

“The supply chain arms race is as competitive as it’s ever been,” said Adam Mullen, CBRE Americas Leader of Industrial & Logistics. “While e-commerce is driving many new leases, there still is a solid diversity of users throughout the top 100 leases. That’s good for the warehouse and distribution industry overall. And the strength of leasing to 3PLs shows that companies are striving to create the most flexible and nimble distribution networks possible.”

California’s Inland Empire leads all US metro areas in share of the first half’s largest I&L leases, with 14 transactions spanning 11.6 million sq. ft. Other hot markets for big leases included Atlanta (10 deals for 7 million sq. ft.), Chicago (11 deals for 6.8 million sq. ft.), Pennsylvania’s I-78/I-81 corridor (10 deals for 6.8 million sq. ft.) and Dallas-Fort Worth (eight deals for 5.2 million sq. ft.)