Demand for Last-Mile Warehouses Gives Second-Generation Buildings a Second Chance

Demand for Last-Mile Warehouses Gives Second-Generation Buildings a Second Chance 

It’s no secret that the demands of online shoppers are changing, which is creating a unique need for warehouse space. When the e-commerce boom began, the focus for retailers was on mega warehouses with 500,000 square feet or more, strategically located with a convenient distance to highly populated areas, providing overnight or same-day delivery.

Today, online shoppers want their purchases delivered within hours which if forcing companies to shift their focus to smaller “last-mile” distribution centers located in the middle of populated areas making it easier to deliver. This change in the commercial industry, has created a unique opportunity for investors and landlords.

“The need for last-mile space has given new life to second-generation, obsolete buildings that landlords have been struggling to rent out,” The Andover Co./CORFAC International, Seattle, Managing Principal Jeff Crane said. “By making some adjustments, landlords can put these buildings in a great position to be a part of this hot market.”

Landlords can make their buildings more appealing to e-commerce businesses by increasing the building’s power capabilities, adding additional truck docks, add covered storage and staging areas which can handle a large volume of car-based delivery from companies like Crane, Lyft and Uber. Additional parking infrastructure is another amenity lacking, as most of these centers’ employee more workers than traditional industrial buildings.

Renovating second-generation buildings, may seem like a challenge, however building from the ground up does not seem to be the best solution. There is a lot more expense to build from the ground up, time and established communities where demand is highest may not have the space to build these types of industrial buildings. According to Crane, “this means that for now, second-generation buildings often remain the best option for online distributors looking to meet same-day delivery requests.”

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Do you own a second-generation building that needs renovation to keep up with the changing demands of online shoppers? We can help!

For more than forty years, the Knipp name has been helping landlords and investors with their real estate development needs – including renovations after a natural disaster. We invite you to visit us online at or and view our portfolio.

Our team of experienced experts are ready to help you with all your construction and real estate development needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Knipp Contracting/Knipp Commercial