Commercial development is booming just outside of Columbus, in Licking County, Ohio with millions of available square feet of prime location properties for large warehouse distribution and eCommerce fulfillment centers.
According to a recent Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) industry report published in Columbus Industrial Insight, Q3 2020, “the Columbus industrial market continues to break records in 2020 with several more records likely to be achieved by year-end. Quarterly completions and net absorption were the highest in market history.” In Licking County, three major brands have capitalized on the area’s ready-to-go pipeline of property and sites in the county’s logistics corridor. In the next year, in Etna Township alone, there will be over five million square feet of developed Class A warehouse space available between two major complexes— CRG’s The Cubes at Etna 70 and at TPA Group’s 70 East Logistics Center.
“As a leader in the eCommerce marketplace, Etna Township strives to work directly with speculative developers and end-users alike,” said John Carlisle, President of the Etna Township Board of Trustees. “With substantial build-to-suit and speculative development underway in Etna, I believe that southwest Licking County will continue to be a frontrunner in the Central Ohio eCommerce marketplace.”
Amazon was one of the first tenants to locate a mega-sized facility in Etna Township with their first 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the Columbus Region in 2015. As their employment numbers continue to climb, earlier this year Amazon announced they’ll be leasing what was once touted as the largest spec building in the Columbus Region. The 1.2 million square-foot facility will be part of a Last Mile Distribution Center.
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., a global leader in furniture manufacturing, recently announced it will be locating a one million square-foot facility in order to expand its eCommerce capabilities with goals of faster delivery. Ashley is investing $70 million in their regional distribution hub at the TPA 70 East Logistics Center and have committed to hiring 300 employees. The facility is currently under construction.
“This is a major move to expand our warehouse capacity to support brick-and-mortar retail operations, as well as our eCommerce growth. Providing access to nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population within a day’s drive, Etna’s location in Central Ohio is a strategic choice for Ashley. Our operations here will allow us to greatly expand our network and better serve customers across the country.” — Todd Wanek, president and CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries
In 2018, Kohl’s, a leading omnichannel retailer with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states, announced they are bringing their next-generation eCommerce fulfillment center to CRG’s The Cubes at Etna 70. Construction on the new 1.2 million square-foot facility is wrapping up now. The retailer is committed to employing over 600 initially with $22.5 million in new annual payroll. Kohl’s may eventually grow to between 2,600 and 3,000 full-time workers.
CRG, a Clayco affiliate, has land padded and permits pulled for more build-to-suit warehouses ranging from 250,000 to 800,000 square feet, totaling 1.6 million square feet in The Cubes at Etna 70 project, south of the I-70 interchange with State Route 310. CRG is looking for large bulk users, especially in third-party logistics or online fulfillment centers. The new buildings at The Cubes are also dividable for multiple businesses and offer highway visibility.
In addition to these projects in progress, nearby is the 300-acre Job Ready Site, part of the 520-acre Pataskala Corporate Park with direct access to rail and Interstate 70 just two miles to the south. The site received a Job Ready Site certification which allowed Licking County to make significant improvements to the large tracts of land, including having a substation on site, guaranteeing that potential businesses have a quick start-up timeline from ground break to ribbon cutting.
“As an industrial leader in the Columbus real estate market, our office continues to see tremendous opportunities in the speculative and end-user markets in Central Ohio,” states Brian Marsh, Managing Director at JLL Columbus. “Licking County has seen huge success in the region for New Class A warehousing and eCommerce growth with room for future opportunities on the horizon. E-commerce users are looking for sites with good freeway access, proximity to population centers and speed to market – all of which can be found in Licking County.”
Licking County, in the Columbus, Ohio Region is an economic development hot spot. Commercial growth is on the rise with millions of available square feet of prime locations, with both developed sites and property, ready for large warehouse and logistics hubs to enter the market.