- Prologis Inc. begins construction on a 3-story, 580,000-square-foot warehouse in Seattle in 2017, reported The Wall Street Journal on Monday. It is set to open in 2018.
- It's billed as the first multilevel warehouse in the U.S., where a lack of urban real estate is pushing rental rates higher.
- Prologis is also looking at the feasibility of similar projects in dense areas like New York and Los Angeles.
The rise of megacities is fueling the need for modified warehouse structures. Where traffic and density exist, delivery of goods is inconvenient for trucks and other vehicles due to minimal street space. As a result, warehouses and urban manufacturers are consistently looking for new ways to decrease delivery times.
Megacities are usually referenced in the context of developing economies, but the same logistics challenges apply to U.S. metropolitan centers as population centers become more dense.
Seattle, in particular, has been at the forefront of addressing these challenges. The city recently partnered with the University of Washington in an "Urban Freight Lab" which aims to address congestion, freight and traffic problems through urban design. It is unclear, but it would not be surprising if Seattle provided incentives Prologis' multi-story warehouse for this purpose.
Meanwhile, real estate firm CBRE expects 3-D printing to expand to urban zones for the same reason, as manufacturers look to scale growth while improving delivery times.