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Many warehouses and industrial spaces looking to grow in large U.S. cities are running out of room. The rise in ecommerce, same-day delivery and inventory space is causing the demand for industrial space to skyrocket. Multistory industrial buildings may be the answer for developers and companies that can only build up, rather than horizontally.

What is Multistory Warehousing?

Multistory warehouses or industrial buildings are facilities built vertically with accessible truck ramps and docks on multiple levels. Smaller trucks are able to easily navigate ramps to upper floors, while conventional trailers utilize the main loading dock. Building vertically helps industrial businesses maximize their property size and profit potential.

Pros and Cons of Multistory Industrial

There are plenty of advantages and challenges that come with making multistory industrial buildings work. Multistory industrial solves the issue of land scarcity for developers and property owners while providing savings on land development costs and property taxes. Multistory warehousing works best in larger cities where land is at a premium and a large number of consumers expect same- or next-day delivery. 

One of the biggest challenges of multistory industrial buildings loris identifying an appropriate development site that will accommodate this type of construction. Multistory industrial requires enough land to support a second story, which can be tough to find in a large, congested city, such as New York or Los Angeles. It also requires a tenant with high consumer demand.

While multistory warehousing might save businesses land development costs and marketing dollars with high visibility, it may be more expensive to build than a regular warehouse, mainly due to regulatory compliance. Multilevel building codes demand specific requirements for building safety.

Will We See a Rise in Multistory Industrial in the U.S.?

Leading property developers are pivoting towards multistory industrial development to fit into congested cities. While common in heavily populated Asian and European cities, these modern multistory industrial buildings have been absent in the U.S. As the American population increases, experts expect to see a surge in multistory industrial development in our major metropolitan cities.  

Amazon is leading the way with a first-of-its-kind three-story warehouse in Seattle, Washington. The new distribution center is designed to reduce delivery times in congested cities to hours rather than days.