Jeff Thornton Talks Dallas-Fort Worth Industrial Outlook

Duke Realty’s Jeff Thornton, Senior Vice President for the Texas Region, answered questions recently about the Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market as part of a roundtable discussion with Texas Real Estate Business.

Jeff Thornton

All sectors of commercial real estate are active around the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, and industrial is no exception. Thornton served as the roundtable’s industrial expert, answering questions about the market’s evolution, advantages and disadvantages, and prospects for the future. A few of his remarks are highlighted below:

  • On Dallas-Fort Worth’s market infrastructure: The Dallas metro area has great highway infrastructure. Only a few pockets experience some congestion, due to office and retail development, and the South Dallas industrial submarket has excellent access to three uncongested interstates. Furthermore, the city and state have strengthened the transportation network by investing money and by allowing private developers to come in and build toll roads.
  • On the industrial supply ceiling: The Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market is in balance, but absorption has to keep pace with a high volume of supply and speculative development.
  • The biggest advantage for continued growth: Dallas-Fort Worth is a Tier 1 industrial market—business-friendly, with strong highways, low cost of living, and lots of room for growth.
  • The biggest obstacle to continued growth: Distance will be the biggest hurdle. Land for new development in infill locations is now limited, so new development is occurring much further from the traditional business districts.
  • On how the Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market has evolved: Dallas-Fort Worth has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. As a leading market, buildings are larger, average leased space is larger, and both absorption and volume of annual development are up.
  • Industry job growth that Duke Realty is excited about: E-commerce fulfillment centers, third-party logistics providers, and consumer goods companies are all driving record-setting absorption. We also are starting to see increases in manufacturing space, which bodes well for continued demand for industrial product.
  • Advice to new market entrants in industrial sector: Come ready to compete. This is a hyper-competitive market with savvy, aggressive owners and developers.

You can read the full roundtable interview here. Please note: The interview begins at the bottom of page 1, and continues on page 28.