This is a guest blog from Eric Aderneck.
Eric is a Vancouver region guru on land use policy, government relations, and large-format multilevel industrial buildings. Eric and I were both actively involved in the development of the Metro Vancouver Industrial Lands Strategy, City of Vancouver Employment Lands and Economy Review, and Richmond Economic Development Strategy.
The Channel blog is about listening and connecting perspectives about land use approvals, government relations, and land development in the Vancouver region.
I benefit from listening to Eric’s perspective and it’s my pleasure to connect you with Eric’s work.
Guest Blog | Eric Aderneck, Intensive Use of Industrial Land
What is trending in the Vancouver region on intensive use of industrial land?
In response to strong demand for industrial space and limited land supply in some regions, more developers are exploring industrial densification. These new built forms fit more floor space onto a given amount of land, using a valuable resource more efficiently. This is particularly important during a time of low vacancy rates and rising rents.
With industrial densification, the opportunity is to build higher to allocate land costs over greater floor area. The wider community can benefit from efficient use of land, the increased capacity to accommodate jobs, and improved transportation infrastructure around the project.
Viability requires the availability of large sites, government agency approvals, efficient designs, manageable construction costs, adequate economies of scale and high rents.
To encourage higher-density industrial development, municipalities should consider updating zoning provisions and planning policies to accommodate new built forms. Policies could include incentives such as waiving development charges/fees for industrial floor space on upper levels, assisting with land assembly, infrastructure servicing and soil remediation. Strategies such as these could target older properties that could be redeveloped into higher-density industrial uses.
Developers can pursue land assembly to create larger sites that achieve efficiencies. For example, unique sites with grades might not need ramps. A combination of additional rental space and increased lease rates could offset development costs. In some cases, developers have owned the lands for years, thereby allowing them to use their historic lower land prices to rationalize the higher construction costs.
LOOKING FOR MORE SPECIFICS?
- Going Big: Large-Format Multilevel Industrial Buildings, NAIOP Magazine Spring 2022, by Eric Aderneck
- Intensification Grows Up, NAIOP Magazine Spring 2020, by Eric Aderneck
- Channel conducts land use studies and government relations so that owners know the truth of what you can do with your land