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Top 5 Markets for Industrial Deliveries in 2021

CommercialEdge data shows that these cities accounted for more than a quarter of all the new inventory.

After two years of heightened demand, industrial development has closed 2021 with near record-breaking numbers. Despite ongoing labor shortages and supply-chain disruptions, developers intensified activity to keep up with demand for large-scale distribution facilities close to dense metro areas, largely from companies in the e-commerce space.

On a national level, 321.8 million square feet of new industrial stock was completed in 2021. Construction activity maintained momentum in 2022, with 4.7 million square feet already delivered in the first month of the year, according to CommercialEdge data, overcoming skyrocketing costs and construction material shortages.

The list below highlights the top markets for the deliveries in 2021 based on the total square footage added to the inventory. The five most active markets across the county accounted for almost 28 percent of all the new inventory.

Rank Metro Square Footage Delivered (MM) Projects Completed Percentage of Stock
1 Dallas 24 71 3.0%
2 Chicago 23.5 42 2.5%
3 Houston 17.3 55 3.3%
4 Philadelphia 12.6 23 3.3%
5 Denver 11.9 33 5.2%

5. Denver

Starting the list is the only Western market entry in our selection and the metro with the highest increase year-over-year. In 2021, developers added 11.9 million square feet of industrial space across 33 properties. This accounted for 5.2 percent of total stock, the highest percentage on our list. Denver more than doubled its inventory compared to 2020, when only 5.6 million square feet were completed, despite the fact that construction was deemed essential in both the metro and the state.

The largest project delivered in 2021 was Amazon’s 3.4 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Located at 4222 Integration Loop, the five-story warehouse and distribution center is part of the 900-acre Master Planned Peak Innovation Park less than 3 miles from the Colorado Springs Airport.

4. Philadelphia

The metro added some 12.6 million square feet of industrial space in 2021, representing 3.3 percent of total stock. Deliveries were up 71.2 percent from the previous year, when some 7.4 million square feet of space was completed. Confidence remained high, as Philadelphia ranked third nationally in terms of projects underway as of December, according to CommercialEdge data. Developers are taking advantage of the greater land availability in the metro compared to neighboring markets such as Northern and Central New Jersey.

Out of the 23 properties delivered in 2021, the largest one was another Amazon facility. Dermody Properties developed LogistiCenter at I-95 Wilmington in Wilmington, Del., on the site of a former General Motors manufacturing plant that stopped operations in 2009. The 3.8 million-square-foot facility received a $235.4 million construction loan from U.S. Bank in 2020 and was the second largest industrial project to come online in 2021, CommercialEdge data shows.

3. Houston

Despite the Port of Houston closing 2021 at record-breaking container processing numbers, the metro is the first entry on the list to record a decrease in total square footage delivered compared to 2020. Houston added 17.3 million square feet of industrial space in 2021 accounting for 3.3 percent of total stock, down 11.6 percent year-over-year. Developers had delivered 19.6 million square feet of industrial space in 2020.

Out of the 55 properties completed in 2021, the largest project was another Amazon-attached development. Located at 10507 Harlem Road on a 62.9-acre site in Richmond, Texas, the five-story fulfillment center was developed by Trammell Crow Co.

2. Chicago

The metro added 23.5 million square feet across 42 properties in 2021, accounting for 2.5 percent of total stock. Developers added 31.4 percent more industrial space compared to 2020, when roughly 22 million square feet was completed. Additionally, developers topped 2019 completions when roughly 22 million square feet of industrial space came online.

The largest project to be completed in 2021 was the 3.9 million-square-foot Amazon sorting, logistics and fulfillment center in Matteson, Ill. Located at 7001 Vollmer Road on an almost 182-acre site, the single-story warehouse is a little over 31 miles from downtown Chicago.

1. Dallas

Capitalizing on the metro’s status as a top transportation hub in Texas and availability of developable land, the most-active metro in terms of industrial construction activity added some 24 million square feet of space in 2021, 3.0 percent of total stock. Dallas also topped the list in terms of number of projects, with 71 developments coming online in the past year. While construction activity in Dallas was the highest in the nation, it failed to top previous years’ deliveries. Completions were down 15.7 percent compared to 2020 and 13.4 percent compared to 2019.

Dallas’ biggest industrial project to come online in 2021—and the only non-Amazon-related facility on our top five—was VanTrust Real Estate‘s DalParc Logistics Center – Building 4. The 1.2 million-square-foot project is located at 3199 East Telephone Road, just 4 miles south of Interstate 20 and features 40-inch clear heights.

CommercialEdge covers 8M+ property records in the United States. View the latest CommercialEdge national monthly industrial report here.

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