Online sales spurring area growth for massive warehouses

Plans for land surrounding the Dayton International Airport that already include five massive warehouses could double thanks to the online sales growth in the United States.

Since 2015, five buildings have been finished or are under construction in a 400-acre area around the airport that NorthPoint Development has branded as Park 70/75. The company’s branding plan calls for five more buildings totalling more than 6 million square feet of industrial space.

Most of the new companies that have moved into the buildings are fueled by online sales.

“With online sales increasing at a double digit rate annually and still only comprising about 10 percent of total retail sales, we see steady demand for big box logistics space well into the future,” said Loren DeFilippo, research director for Colliers International Ohio markets.

The airport has been a standout for job growth and new development and has helped establish the Dayton region as a logistics and distribution hub. The development already represents 2.7 million square feet of new facilities, 2,270 jobs and almost $100 million in investment.

The area around the airport makes sense as a logistics hub because of its easy access to a large percentage of the U.S. population, affordable labor costs and tax-abated sites, which reduce operating costs, according to DeFilippo.

MORE: $92.3M capital investment: Dayton airport real estate moves draw 2K+ jobs

This week, the Dayton Daily News reported two companies, Pratt Industries and General Pet Supply, are looking to occupy space at new buildings in Park 70/75.

Inside a 433,715-square-foot, one-story warehouse at 10451 Dog Leg Road, NorthPoint Development is building out 233,085 square feet of space for Pratt.

Pratt says it is the fifth largest box manufacturer in the nation and is the “world’s largest, privately held 100 percent recycled paper and packaging company.”

The company has more than 8,000 workers at facilities across the nation, including in Dayton, Springfield, Mason and Lewisburg.

NorthPoint also has requested a commercial building permit for a fit out of its Building 2 at 2700 Concorde Drive.

General Pet Supply is moving from its home of six years at 6528 Poe Ave. into the industrial park.

The company has signed a five-year lease to occupy about 99,155 square feet of space in the southwest corner the property.

General Pet Supply is expanding its Dayton operations and needed room to grow, said Dave Merar, the company’s executive vice president. The Poe Avenue facility is about 65,000 square feet, and General Pet needs more space since it likely will be a full line supplier, Merar said.

General Pet distributes food from Dayton, but its new warehouse and distribution center likely will stock and ship dog toys, chews and other products, Merar said. General Pet serves retailers and veterinarians.

General Pet, which was purchased in 2018 by Central Garden & Pet, has about 68 employees in Dayton and expects to add about a dozen more when it moves to the new facility July 1, Merar said.

When General Pet moves in, NorthPoint’s building 2 will be fully occupied. Purina and ALPLA take up the rest of the 511,776 square foot facility.

Building 1 (570,000 square feet on Concord Drive) is fully occupied by Spectrum Brands. More than half of building 3 will be taken up by Pratt.

Building 4 (520,303 square feet, near Jackson and Dog Leg roads) is under construction and will be occupied by Crocs, the footwear company.

NorthPoint also is constructing a 690,000-square foot facility on the south side of Lightner Road. The facility, Building 8, will be for Chewy, an online pet goods retailer.

A marketing brochure for Park 70/75 shows five other proposed buildings. Two are along Dog Leg Road, to the north and east of buildings 3 and 4. Two are south of Lightner Road, to the west and south of the Chewy facility. There’s one facility proposed for North Dixie Drive, southeast of the airport.

There’s been an increase in demand for mid-sized spaces, between 50,000 to 250,000 square feet, while demand for larger spaces has tapered off in the last six months, DeFilippo said.

He said the demand for facilities like those at airport seems sustainable because a $1 billion increase in online sales requires an estimated 1 million square feet of distribution space to fulfill the orders.

MORE: Dayton has competition for possible tenant for giant warehouse near airport