Cubic feet, not just square feet, matter in warehouse rents, Oklahoma brokers say.

Storage is three-dimensional, even though warehouse space is rented by the size of the floor, with rent rates by the square foot. Ceiling height matters, brokers in Oklahoma say.
by Richard Mize Published: August 30, 2014
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Why don’t industrial landlords rent space by the cubic foot?

“Good question,” a broker said when I asked.

Well, why not?

I’m sort of kidding — but it always comes to mind when I’m in a big warehouse, thinking about the space and how it’s used.

All clear

Brokers talk about “clear height,” not just ceiling height, because the clear height is what’s important: the highest level at which conveyors, forklifts, cranes and other tools of inventory management systems can move, stack and rack pallets of widgets as they come and go.

Anything above the clear height isn’t wasted; lights, fans and other mechanicals are in that space. It’s not part of the actual work of the warehouse; it does support it.

Storage is three-dimensional, even though warehouse space is rented by the size of the floor, with rent rates by the square foot. And cubic feet do — or should — go into decision-making for warehouse tenants.

Let’s say the choice is between two 60,000-square-foot warehouses, one with a 24-foot clear-height for $4 per square foot, and one with a 30-foot clear height at $5 per square foot.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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