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I Quit

Let’s say, you’re a small industrial business looking for a space. You want a new building with a specific square footage and all the modern amenities. Well, it’s time to quit that thinking. It used to be that Minneapolis-St. Paul had plenty of industrial sites and new construction suited for small businesses and start-ups. Not so anymore.


Competition is fierce in the 3,000-30,000 SF range. Current construction leans to much larger structures, and smaller buildings are being gobbled up by bigger developments in other segments. It’s also cheaper per square foot to build a larger warehouse than a smaller one. New industrial construction in the Twin Cities is about large buildings and large price tags.



This makes for a sellers’ market. Small business owners and start-ups must adapt if they want to stay in the metro area. Here are my five tips to successfully pivot from “used to be” to “what is” in our current hot market:


1. Think big and look at bigger. You might have to buy bigger than you need. However, you do have options to make a larger space work and even increase your cash flow. You could reposition the building to multi-tenant, lease out the extra space, and/or pool your resources with additional investors.

2. Manage your nerves. Work with a broker to problem solve the issues that are making you nervous. Now is the time to put your fears aside because scared buyers will see deals pass them by very quickly.

4. Rethink how you build out the space. Forget expensive demising walls and use fences or special industrial curtains to section off space. They give flexibility to adjust spaces according to demand. Curtains also help control temperature, humidity, and noise.



3. Look into warehouse mixed occupancy. It’s a great way for owners to expand their occupancy, enter new markets, and maximize profits. You organize to eliminate empty space and lease out to as many different users as possible. Sometimes common production resources, equipment, and even staff can be shared, cutting costs for all.

4. Rethink how you build out the space. Forget expensive demising walls and use fences or special curtains to section off space. They give flexibility to adjust spaces according to demand. Curtains also help control temperature, humidity, and noise.T

5. Keep on top of the market. Work with a broker who understands the current value and availability of industrial spaces. The industrial market is so tight right now, it’s best to have someone on your team that is constantly in the know.


Buyers must be realistic about what is the best opportunity in this fast-paced market. When you quit the old paradigm and lean into the new, you’ll be in the game to get your deal done. I’m here to help if you have any questions (612-788-1552 or jeff@CEGspaces.com).

Jeff Salzbrun is the owner and broker of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in many sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.


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