Industrial Properties

Industrial properties encompass a wide variety of property uses such as manufacturing, processing, storing, transporting, research and development. Warehousing is included in the industrial classifications and most have some office component in the building. Office/Warehouse properties are typically flexible, general-purpose buildings that can be adapted to a small-user's needs.

Industrial properties differ from other real estate types in the following ways:

  • Height is a significant third dimension.
  • Utility is the overriding factor.
  • Concern for the "public" is less of an issue.

Industrial properties are typically categorized by use. Most properties will fall under one of four categories:

Heavy Industrial

Manufacturing properties comprise the heavy industrial segment. Industries that make use of such properties include textiles, steel, chemicals, and food processing. Typically no more than five percent of such sites is devoted to office use.


Generally the least intense industrial use, warehouse and distribution facilities often are located in the lowest-priced land in older parts of town or in suburban fringes. Typically office use is limited to management tasks for the distribution or warehouse facility, or about 15 percent of total space.

Light Industrial/Assembly

Production lines that assemble components produced elsewhere are based in light industrial/assembly facilities. Some light manufacturing requiring limited raw materials, and physical changes to the materials also might be conducted in such facilities. Space devoted to offices usually is less than 10 percent.

Office/Warehouse or Research & Development

These are broadly defined to include wide variations in markets across the country. Research and development office/warehouse properties could have lab facilities, offices, warehouse facilities, or personal services such as carpentry or machine repair. Typically each property allows a variable combination of office and other uses. The percentage of office space ranges from 20 percent to 100 percent, depending on the market and individual needs of the user. Research and development office facilities are generally used in high technology markets. In other markets you will find office/warehouses of smaller size, with multiple tenants.