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Issues In Redeveloping Industrial Properties A GlobeSt EXCLUSIVE Interview with Brian Paul

(Irvine, CA – July 1, 2016) — Making obsolete spaces functional and dealing with site contamination and remediation are just a few of the concerns industrial redevelopers face today, PREMIER Design + Build’s Brian Paul tells in this EXCLUSIVE interview.

Brian Paul

IRVINE, CA—Making obsolete spaces functional and dealing with site contamination and remediation are just a few of the concerns industrial redevelopers face today, PREMIER Design + Build’s EVP Brian Paul tells The firm was recently chosen to lead the construction of a 429,840-square-foot facility comprising warehouse and office space in City of Industry, CA, for Bridge Development Partners LLC. The facility will be situated near CA 60, with site completion slated for December 1. We spoke exclusively with Paul about the ins and outs of redeveloping industrial properties and how the sector is changing with logistics becoming so important to this sector. What do developers and builders need to be concerned about today with redeveloping industrial properties?

Paul: With today’s sophisticated end users, globalization and the changing landscape of logistics operations, many past-generation warehouses are no longer considered functional. In many submarkets, there are numerous lots with existing structures that have remained vacant for long periods of time after contamination was suspected from heavy manufacturing plants. Various factors, of course, will influence industrial redevelopment decisions, such as vacancy rates, supply-chain constraints and environmental remediation, to name a few.

When opportunities arise for industrial redevelopments, our first order of business as builders is to zero in on maximizing the efficiency of the property. The buildings are being constructed ultimately for lessees for spec buildings or for owners for build-to-suits, and in order to construct a leasable or saleable building, we need to know how to best optimize lot and building space and technology to its fullest potential for use today and for many years to come. If a building is strategically constructed with the benefit of the end user in mind for both today and tomorrow, while maximizing the return for our clients, chances are it will prove to be a great investment. What issues come up, and how are they resolved?

Paul: Some common issues we encounter in the marketplace include site contamination (and remediation), waste removal, phased construction around existing tenant operations and physical and infrastructure site constraints. When confronted with an issue, our natural instinct as a design-builder is to immediately gather our team—consisting of the designers, subcontractors and other pertinent consultants—to discuss the problem and formulate the most pragmatic and cost-effective solution to present to our client. Including all of the players on the team that can have value to formulating the best plan is imperative. The alternative of having a design consultant singularly propose a solution, from our experience, does not necessarily yield the best solution for the problem. Our design-build teams welcome the feedback from everyone prior to putting pen to paper so that they address the issue at hand only once. Collaboration is the key to pragmatic and timely problem solving. How do you see industrial redevelopment changing as logistics becomes more important to this sector?

Paul: Industrial redevelopment has been evolving and will continue to evolve with the ever-changing demands of consumers and end users. What was in style 30 years ago is simply obsolete by today’s standards. For example, 36-foot clear-height warehouse spaces (and up) are the norm today, where 10 years ago it was 32-foot. While e-commerce is still settling in as the main driver of change in the logistics and industrial industries, technology and consumerism will continue to change and evolve; as it does, industrial warehouse space will have to continue to change as well. We take this into account with every industrial building we construct, weighing various options and weighing different strategies to make each facility adaptable for future operations with flexible warehouse configurations. What else should our readers know about industrial redevelopment?

Paul: Today, consumers are looking more toward convenience over pricing. There are talks of bringing manufacturing back to the US with reshoring efforts to provide even more convenience in increasingly competitive markets. It might benefit developers and builders alike to begin looking into sites that would be able to offer manufacturing as well as distributive capabilities. As technology continues to gain momentum, companies will be vying for more market share by delivering faster and providing better quality at cheaper prices. Warehouse space will likely require areas for designing, assembling and distributing product to micro-segmented communities. While the future of the marketplace and much of this remains to be seen, one thing is for certain: industrial redevelopment to accommodate modern needs will never be a thing of the past.

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