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Commercial property Types: Industrial

Factories and businesses have needs as diverse as the products they produce – and their premises vary, too, but they do have some common needs.

Shell Martinez-refinery

Industrial property – Shell Martinez refinery

All industries are involved in changing one thing into another, whether extracting oil from the seabed or putting together a car. As such, they will have goods going in, goods going out and workers to consider.

The typical needs of an industrial site

  • Access for delivery vehicles and large trucks
  • Storage for raw materials and finished products
  • Storage for tools and machines
  • Facilities for employees including toilets, food or refreshments on site or nearby, car parks or public transport
  • Reliable energy supplies
  • Water
  • Safety equipment

Location of industrial properties

For manufacturing businesses, location is usually less important than land prices. Factories will often be out of town, where land is cheaper – as long as zoning or planning permission allows. However, the following will be attractive:

  • Adequately skilled and available local workforce
  • Transportation links, such as motorways or ports
  • Market for goods or raw materials nearby – e.g. a power station near a coal mine
  • Raw materials – location is essential for mines, oil wells and gravel pits
  • Complimentary industries nearby – e.g. cabinetmakers near a stone mason
  • Expertise – such as resarch and development labs, universities

Investing in industrial properties.

Industrial properties are often owned by the businesses that occupy them, so investing in industrial property often takes the form of strategic lands.

However, some industrial properties may be leased, particularly if they are small-scale or light-industry.

In these cases, a developer will often build a number of buildings with general appeal and expect that the occupier will make alterations to suit their needs. Such developments may be sponsored or subsidized by local or national government as a means of bringing work to an area or lowering unemployment rates.


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