Vacant Warehouse Space Ideas

11 Replies

Hey BP, 

I am looking for some ideas for a commercial warehouse I own in Toccoa, GA. The area is not necessarily "booming" and the warehouse is located on a side street off of the main road in town so therefore there isn't any main highway line of sight. The warehouse is around 16,000sqft and I have tried to rent it and sell it without any headway. Id like to see if anyone out there has some innovative ideas I could use to get this cash flowing. Thanks

Id like to know a little more about the listing, how long has it been on the market? Is it a single tenant building or a 16,000 SF space in a multi-tenant building? Where are your asking rates / price in comparison to market average? How have you been marketing the space, my first step with any listing is usually making sure the neighborhood knows about the availability, its usually a good bet that there is a business within 2 miles that needs to expand/retract or otherwise relocate for a variety of reasons but needs to be in the same geographical area. 

There are any number of ways to entice tenants into a building, advertising shorter term leases for example can set you apart from competition in the commercial world. Can the building be subdivided to offer smaller spaces? 

Does zoning allow for the building to be re-positioned? heavier office uses such as call centers are often good tenants in industrial space given the cost savings when compared to office. You said its "on a side street of the main road", is the main road a CBD with business etc? Would a brewery / brewpub be a good use of the space?

Have you put the space in front of industrial users with national footprints? Fastenal and SafeLite are good examples of national credit tenants with hub and spoke location strategies whereby they have multiple smaller locations across a metro area.

If the situation is dire you can always put a tenant in month-to-month just to cover the NNN's until a long term tenant comes along. Hail dent repair, pop-up insurance claim adjusters and dead storage are usually good bets for this scenario.

Somewhat scattered thoughts, hope they help. 

Taylor, 

Thank you for the help. I will try to answer a few of your questions here: 

1.) it is a single tenant building and Ive had it on the market for $120,000 or rent for $1200.00 month which are both what I feel based off of comps to be below market value.

2.) Most of the marketing has been done solely on MLS, so there is the possibility that is not getting the exposure that it needs. However the area is very under commercialized, I would not even venture to say that the "main road" it is located off of would be considered CBD. A business that did not need foot traffic from the public would be a perfect fit.

Overall, what I would really like to have is an investment where I could gain more returns than just normal rent. An investment that I can manage: self storage, etc. Location just seems to have me in an overall bad spot. 

@Logan Pourbaix I see a lot of these obsolete warehouse spaces for sale in rural Georgia. If only they would legalize marijuana you would be sitting pretty :) But in the meantime, the only thing I have seen successful is like an Antique Mall/fleamarket where you rent the space out to vendors. 

In our county we have a lot of empty former mills. A few things I have heard proposed for them that might work, brewery, edible mushroom-growing, carpet square warehouse, mattress warehouse. Both the last two things are applicable because we have manufacturing for both those things in our area so look to see what might be manufactured or grown in your area. Back to the marijuana idea somewhat, tobacco drying?

@Jeff Kehl I appreciate the advice. Its funny you say that about the marijuana industry, Ive had the same exact conversation with about 10 people, alot of them like myself would be sitting on somewhat of a small goldmine if that would come to fruition. lol But for the time being Ill check harder into some of the main industries within the area. It would be nice to find a brewmaster that is looking for an investor, I could provide space and financing for equipment in exchange for a percentage of the profit. 

Convert it into self storage is one Idea .  It may be a bit too small ,but there is a warehouse near me that is inside boat and rv storage , they charge by the foot and make additional money detailing the units .  They have a waiting list to get in . 

How about storage?  Lots of different storage solutions out there.

@Ash Patel @Matthew Paul Thanks guys, Im also going to consider getting a storage consultant out to do a market feasibility study for me. 

Having started my career in Denver and now moved to Seattle I can tell you, through first hand experience, that the marijuana industry is nothing but a boom for the local economy (and particularly the industrial RE market).

Regarding your original post it sounds like you have a good direction to head in. One thing I would recommend, rather than getting a storage consultant which no doubt wont be cheap any reputable commercial brokerage shop (certainly all the big shops) will be able to provide all relevant demographic data within any desired distance as well as traffic counts and any other number of data sets. If you couple that information with how many competing self storage units are nearby (you or your broker could find this out through google) you will have a good sense of the competitive landscape.

16,000 square feet is not a large space and I dont know that its self storage capacity would justify hiring a consultant. 

Good luck regardless, if you remember I would love to know how it turns out for you.

Brainstorming here: I had to look at a map, but I wonder if you could reach out to some Atlanta industrial brokers to see if any of their clients would need distribution in between Atlanta and some other destinations? Also some coastal companies might want some back up site in case of a storm, etc.  

@Whit Ewen would you care to expand on the idea of the costal companies looking for back up sites? That sounds like a interesting concept I would like to be further informed upon. Thanks 

@Logan Pourbaix sorry for my delay. If a company has valuable business inventory that is exposed to frequent hazards (e.g. a coastal town with hurricane threats) and needs to have a site to which they can evacuate their inventory, that's what I meant as an opportunity. Obviously this brainstorm may or may not work - just to spark thinking. That is, it might not be feasible or might be a whole separate business that requires more work than makes sense for your site. Good luck

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