Industrial real estate demand is up in Windsor

Industrial real estate demand in Windsor-Essex is up and experts say that’s thanks mostly to the Stellantis plant, even though construction has been paused.

The properties are being snapped up within weeks of hitting the market as manufacturers look to set up shops near the anticipated plant.

“A very hot commodity. There’s been a number of transactions in the last couple of weeks, large pieces or large blocks of space as we call it taken down by clients. And not on spec. With the intention of expanding manufacturing,” said Stephen MacKenzie, Invest WindsorEssex president and CEO.

At the end of 2022, the region has a 4.9 per cent vacancy rate in industrial space — as of now, it’s only about two per cent. The average across Canada is six per cent.

Despite the pause on the next star energy plant, Brooke Handysides of CBRE Windsor, a global company in commercial real estate services and investment, said the investment is still coming to the region.

“I think that has created somewhat of a pregnant pause in the market for the last 60 days or so, but in general, the assets that we brought to the market over this time period have still seen significant interest.”

An example is the former Windsor Star plant —constructed for a niche purpose, listed for $7.4-million shortly before the stalemate at the Stellantis site, sold, within weeks after a bidding war.

“And the recent increase in interest rate that happened? It did not negatively effect the activity that led to multiple offers on this property,” Handysides added.

The only downside as far as Invest Windsor Essex is concerned, is less ready-made supply to meet demand.

“It means companies are manufacturing, creating jobs for our residents and supporting the overall economy. So I welcome this type of problem,” said MacKenzie.

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