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8 Questions to Ask When Touring Warehouse Space

You Need to Consider Details Like Zoning, Power, and Parking

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

If your company receives, ships, or stores physical products, then you are going to need to lease warehouse space, whether you use a third-party logistics company or decide to rent your own space.

Before you start searching, it's essential that you determine what your business' specific needs are when it comes to warehouse space, because not every space has the same infrastructure—for example, not all can accommodate 18-wheeler deliveries. Keep in mind, leasing the wrong space can cost you thousands, so you and your broker should do your due diligence—don't just rely on what the landlord's listing agent tells you.

Once you have a notion of your ideal size, layout, location, and budget, you are ready to begin your warehouse search and start touring spaces.

There are a lot of nuances to consider, so it's important to clarify the details when considering a space. Here are eight essential questions to ask before leasing a warehouse:

  1. What is the zoning? You need to ensure the property is zoned for warehouse use.
  2. What is the currently approved use? If the property was previously approved for warehouse & distribution use, and your use is manufacturing, you will need to apply for a change of use permit.
  3. What electrical power is available? If you're a manufacturing business, then you probably need a lot more electrical power than average (e.g., 3 phase).
  4. What is the clear height? If you want to maximize your ability to store products, then you need high ceilings.
  5. What type of loading is available? Does the space have grade level or dock high loading? If you're expecting deliveries via 18-wheeler trucks, then you need dock high.
  6. Is the truck court big enough for 18 wheelers? Just because it has dock high loading does not mean the truck court is big enough for an 18 wheeler to back in or be able to turn around. Definitely find our if the area is big enough to accomodate your truck deliveries.
  7. Is the warehouse sprinklered? Not every warehouse has sprinklers, but you may be required to have them depending on your business.
  8. Can I park vehicles overnight? In many cases, companies want to park trucks overnight, though not every location will allow this. Some locations may have bad security, putting your vehicles at risk of vandalism.

These questions just scratch the surface, but when searching and touring warehouse spaces, it's important that you know what you are evaluating and what specific information you need. If you are not experienced in this area, then consider hiring someone who is.


About the Author: Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith is the owner of Austin Tenant Advisors and has been in the commercial real estate industry for over 13 years. He exclusively represents tenants and buyers in the search, selection, negotiation, and occupancy of office, retail, and warehouse space throughout the Austin metro area.

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