Connect with us


Big-Box Industrial Transactions Up 25% in 2020 as Retailers Raced to Keep Up with Surge in Online Shopping



California’s Inland Empire led all markets with 42.5 million sq. ft. in transactions

The top North American markets for large warehouses (200,000 sq. ft. or larger) saw record transaction activity in 2020, with the total number rising 25  percent, according to CBRE. The surge in leasing activity was fueled by pandemic-driven growth in online shopping. 

CBRE’s report examined 22 markets with more than 75 million square feet of big-box facilities. In total, big-box transactions accounted for 349 million sq. ft. of activity in these markets, up nearly  25% from 280 million sq. ft. in 2019. 

E-commerce-only users accounted for 27.1 percent of big-box transactions by square footage,  followed by third-party logistics (25.8%) and general retail and wholesalers (24.7%). 

The average vacancy rate for big-box industrial space in these markets ended in 2020 at 4.6  percent, down from 5.2 percent at year-end 2019. Toronto had the lowest vacancy rate in this category at a microscopic 0.3 percent.  

California’s Inland Empire led all markets with 42.5 million sq. ft. in transactions, followed by  Southern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania (41.8) and Chicago (41.1). Phoenix had the highest percentage of its overall inventory absorbed in 2020 (9.1 percent).  

Demand was driven by 3PLs, which accounted for 34.5% of the total deals in 2020. Transaction activity increased by 21% year-over-year in 2020 and net absorption increased by 40% to 25.1  million sq. ft. 

The large population gives the Inland Empire one of the largest big-box industrial labor forces in the country. More than 100,000 people are employed in the warehouse industry, according to  CBRE Labor Analytics. This is expected to grow 25% by 2030. 

“The Inland Empire is the single largest Class A industrial market in the U.S. with an abundance of Fortune 500 companies moving goods through the Ports of LA and Long Beach to the southwestern part of our country,” said Ontario-based CBRE Executive Vice President Dan De La Paz.  “Historically, this market has developed 15-25 million square feet of new space each year, now this market is maturing and running out of land, thus accelerating industrial real estate values at  the fastest pace ever seen.” 

Market 2020 Total Square Feet Leased
Inland Empire 42.5M
Southern New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania 41.8M
Chicago 41.1M
Dallas-Fort Worth 34.9M
Atlanta 30.6M
Indianapolis 18.2M
Toronto 17.2M
Memphis 14.9M
Northern/Central New Jersey 13.8M
Phoenix 13.0M

Overall net absorption in these markets (189 million sq, ft.) outpaced construction completions  (182 million sq. ft,) last year. Currently, the under-construction pipeline totals 185.1 million sq. ft.,  with 43.7 percent of this space already pre-leased. 

“We expect 2021 demand to be just as strong as 2020 – if not stronger,” said James Breeze,  Global Head of Industrial & Logistics Research for CBRE. “With nearly half of the under construction product already leased, the main concern in most markets is the availability of  enough supply to meet robust demand. Companies looking to expand may struggle to find  available space, especially if they need facilities larger than 750,000 square feet”.  

To download the report, click here.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.


Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai



Fostering Technological Synergy: Bridging the Tech Gap with Global Partners

Demonstrating the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (IERCC) commitment to global tech collaboration and innovation, the organization will lead a California delegation to the world-renowned GITEX GLOBAL event in Dubai from October 16-20, 2023. Though the original invitation extended to IERCC’s President & CEO, Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr., he will not be in attendance. Instead, the California delegation will be spearheaded by the Chamber’s newly-appointed CTO, Mr. Gabriel Rangel.

Organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX GLOBAL 2023 promises to be grander than ever. The event is set to host over 6,000 exhibiting companies and startups, drawing more than 170,000 tech and business executives from over 170 countries. The mega-event will sprawl across 41 vast halls and, for the first time ever, will be held at two prominent venues – the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre and the new Dubai Harbour for Expand North Star, making it the host for the world’s largest startup event.

Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented, “While I regret not attending GITEX personally, I am proud to have Mr. Rangel at the helm of this effort. I’m confident that our delegation will foster new collaborations and present the Golden State as a tech powerhouse.”

This year’s conference adopts the compelling theme of “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”. Attendees are poised to witness the grandest showcase of AI tech giants and industry frontrunners. Additionally, it promises to kindle profound dialogues and debates concerning the socio-economic implications of burgeoning AI technology.

“Leading the California delegation at GITEX offers us an unmatched platform to nurture and solidify relationships with global tech partners,” said Mr. Gabriel Rangel, CTO of IERCC. “As the technology landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for us to be a part of these international collaborations. I’m honored to spearhead this mission on behalf of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

An integral part of the California delegation, Mr. Ram Thanapandian, Principal Technology Consultant to the State of California and Chair of CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Technical Advisory Commission, will be present, providing invaluable insights and representing the State of California Treasurer’s Office.

IERCC’s leadership in organizing this delegation underscores the crucial role that California plays in the global tech ecosystem and mirrors Dubai’s ambitious vision as encapsulated in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). This strategy aims to substantially expand Dubai’s economic landscape in the upcoming decade, securing its stature among the world’s leading global cities.

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Centre and CEO of KAOUN International, remarked on the invaluable contributions the California delegation will bring to the event. She looks forward to an event marked by knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and pioneering discussions.

For additional information on GITEX GLOBAL 2023, please refer to: GITEX 2023 Preview.

Continue Reading


Economist Christopher Thornberg, State Treasurer Fiona Ma Headline New Forecast Conference



Coming October 5th

Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead?

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino, is thrilled to announce that the anticipated economic forecast conference, Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead, Inland Empire? will be held October 5th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the El Prado Golf Courses in the vibrant city of Chino, California.

Esteemed economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg will present complete outlooks for the U.S., California, and Inland Empire economies. “The Inland Empire stands at the crossroads of remarkable economic opportunities and challenges,” said Thornberg. “I’m excited to unpack the trends and shifts that will define the region’s economic landscape in the next year, and beyond.”

Known for his razor-sharp observations, and fun, energized delivery, Thornberg’s presentation will include pointed discussions about inflation, the Fed’s next move, housing markets, strengths and instabilities in the economy, and what current trends mean for the nation, state, and local region.

The conference will also be graced by the insights of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as keynote speaker. In her words, “The strength of California’s economy is deeply interwoven with the growth trajectories of its regions. The Inland Empire, with its dynamism and resilience, is a testament to this synergy. I am honored to join ‘Economic Horizon 2024’ and share a vision where policies, partnerships, and potentials converge to elevate the Inland Empire to unprecedented economic heights.”

“This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the Inland Empire and our commitment to fostering a robust, resilient economy,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino aims to offer a platform for profound economic discussion, forecasting, and strategic future planning.”

Attendees can anticipate not only expert insights into the economy but also networking opportunities and a chance to connect with key business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the region.

Full event details are available at:

Continue Reading

Bizz Buzz

Webb Investments acquires Silver Creek Industries, an industry leader in modular construction for schools



Webb Investments today announced the launch of a new company, Silver Creek Modular, after acquiring the assets of Silver Creek Industries, a highly respected modular construction company known for bringing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the education industry. 

Silver Creek Industries’ existing business, including its employees and its Perris, Calif., manufacturing facility, will remain with the new company, with Webb providing the investment capital, resources and expertise to enhance Silver Creek’s presence in the modular construction marketplace.

The acquisition closed in June of 2023, following Silver Creek Industries’ Chapter 11 filing in the Central Bankruptcy Court of California.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Silver Creek into our family business, and look forward to building on our shared commitment to improving educational opportunities within communities across our region,” said Kiana Webb, CEO of Webb Family Enterprises. “This acquisition aligns with our strategy to invest in established firms that can help us drive community revitalization and inclusive growth, while improving quality of life and increasing economic output.”

Silver Creek Industries was founded in 2004 and has completed more than 1,000 projects in the education, commercial, medical, military, government and multi-family housing markets. More recently, the company’s focus has been on providing high-quality, sustainable modular buildings for schools and educational institutions. Silver Creek Industries is well known for delivering projects on time and on budget, with minimal disruption to school and the community. 

Webb Investments is a privately held, family-owned company focusing on creating a community development ecosystem that drives inclusive, organic growth and transforms the areas they serve. 

For more information on Webb Investments, please visit

Continue Reading

Business Journal Newsletter

Events Calendar

« September 2023 » loading...