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Growth in Auto Industry Driving Demand for Crane-served Buildings

​An uptick in steel-related manufacturing and growth in the auto industry are likely to cause demand for crane-served facilities to intensify throughout the year. These specialized buildings feature massive overhead bridge cranes to maneuver heavy metal materials or large, unwieldy products.

A record-breaking 17.39 million vehicles were sold in the U.S. during 2015, surpassing the 17.35 million mark set in 2000, according to WardsAuto. The auto industry is poised to exceed the sales record again in 2016, boosted by continued economic expansion, low gas prices and easy access to credit. Automakers and their suppliers are driving absorption of crane-served buildings in parts of Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Texas. In addition, suppliers are securing space in traditional industrial properties as they ramp up operations to meet demand from automakers.

As these companies expand their practices, they must evaluate whether to acquire, lease or build space. Because crane-served buildings must be custom-tailored to the tenant’s specifications, many businesses have found constructing a new facility to be the most cost-effective option when looking for new space.

Crane-served buildings are expensive to develop – sometimes double that of a typical warehouse. Presently, the specialized buildings cost $100 to $120 per square foot for the shell versus $60 to $70 per square foot for the shell of a traditional industrial facility. And with construction costs escalating, reliable build-versus-lease analyses will become increasingly more important.

For more information, read the full “Insights from Transwestern” here.



As Senior Vice President, Steve Kozarits is responsible for recruiting, training and business development for Transwestern's Midwest Industrial Practice Group. In addition, Steve leads the Transwestern Metals Team.


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Translations Blog Growth in Auto Industry Driving Demand for Crane-served Buildings