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Industrial Outdoor Storage: A $200B Opportunity

February 16, 2023

Rapidly becoming a favorite of opportunistic investors, industrial outdoor storage (IOS) is a new property type conceived by increasing costs of traditional industrial buildings. With estimated market value in the United States of $200 billion, this ambiguous property type benefits from two major factors. Its simplicity is key as it makes it easy to manage. Its physical constraints are also crucial as it gives it an element of urgency – get on board or miss the train (or truck in this case).

Just as this property type has no official name (it has been called everything from industrial outdoor storage to industrial prop parking facilities to industrial storage facilities), there is also no agreed-upon understanding of what property types this market encompasses or even just how big its market is. It can include truck yards, storage lots for shipping containers, equipment rentals, maintenance shops, and empty lots near ports. You may have even drove past them on the highway. A lot of times, it just looks like a bunch of trucks. Who knew they were an investment opportunity?

No matter what you call them, investors widely understand these properties to be an appreciating asset that is closely connected to industrial and logistics sites. So despite the overall ambiguity, there is clarity around the potential of buying property with sustainable demand and slim chances of added supply.

While average deal sizes range between $5 million and $15 million for a property, many large investors lack detailed IOS strategies. This is because expertise in this industry is hard to come by given it is very niche.

Despite this, market analysts don’t predict a slowdown for IOS. Even if demand for industrial slows, the already increased supply of warehouses and shipping routes may make IOS even more wanted as a means of handling increased logistics practices.

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