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Warehouses become prime local real estate

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Port of Honolulu

One often hears about Hawaiʻi’s housing shortage, but there’s another building type in short supply: warehouses.

According to a report from Colliers International Hawaii, the vacancy rate in the industrial sector fell to 1.73% percent in the third quarter. That’s the lowest level in four years.

While much of the economy has been hampered by business restrictions in response to COVID, not all of it is crippled.

Colliers says the distribution, logistics and construction sectors have been expanding and need space for materials. Year to date, they’ve filled just over half-a-million square feet of space.

There had been a spate of new industrial construction in recent years but now 70% of that is also filled and Colliers expects things to stay tight, with no new construction on the near horizon.

“For many warehouse users, their facilities are already stacked to the rafters making it challenging to add more inventory. The inability to expend or find larger warehouse spaces has dampened their ability to grow and may slow the pace of economic recovery," the report said.

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