Metropolitan area site selectors shown what Orange County has to offer

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Lots of optimism about continued business growth in Orange County

TOWN OF WALLKILL – Real estate and development experts are projecting continued growth in Orange County’s industrial real estate sector, claiming it’s become a major focus for outside developers, investors and users.

At the Orange County Partnership’s Biennial Commercial Real Estate Summit held at the Orange County Speedway in the Town of Wallkill, a panel of experts shared their thoughts and predictions for the future of commercial real estate in the county to project site selectors and realtors from the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area.

Panel experts agreed that warehousing and distribution space, particularly for e-commerce, is currently very high interest; however, according to Elizabeth Mansfield, owner of Mansfield Commercial Realty, the interest is outweighing the available properties.

“It’s an interesting time in the market right now,” said Mansfield. “The industrial market is active, but there’s very little product left. There’s been about 7.5 million square-feet of industrial space constructed since 2000 in this county and there’s another, close to eight million lined up on the docket for the next four years. There’s a lot of planned investment and development.”

Matrix Development Group, a renowned north-eastern developer, is one of those interested parties involved in the county’s industrial commercial development. VP Gary Hans said of the four Orange County buildings in their portfolio, they have zero percent vacancy and elsewhere in the county, there is collectively a single-digit vacancy.

Hans added there is little to no class A warehousing in the county, but the demand is there. He proposed developing these types of locations, specifically on spec because many times interested companies don’t have the time to wait, especially when dealing with New York’s cumbersome approval processes.

“Most companies we see, they have a need that’s six months out, 12 months out,” said Hans. “They can’t wait for a build-to-suit. They go to spec development and so they need modern class A spec development to accommodate that demand; and really, there’s none of that being built right now in Orange County.”

Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan said the partnership is focusing on having properties on hand, so it won’t become an issue for investors and developers looking to come to the county.

“I think right now, one of our focuses is to make sure there is a backfill of product available because the market is driving people here, but we’re doing well in that world of real estate and as properties come off the market we have to backfill them,” said Halahan.

Although growing interest is being shown in the industrial market, hemp, medical marijuana and food and beverage, are still the largest sectors with regards to Orange County real estate.