There’s a love affair happening with an unlikely type of real estate: America’s empty factories and warehouses.
Vacant commercial spaces are in high demand as both startups and multinationals look for facilities to house their U.S. operations.
Several factors are driving this trend, according to Stuart Lichter, president of Industrial Reality Group, one of the largest owners of U.S. commercial real estate.
Many U.S. companies, which had moved their operations overseas to keep costs down, are coming back home to be closer to their customers. On the flip side, foreign companies are also shifting some production to the U.S. to be more competitive and grow their U.S. market.
Meanwhile, some industries that were hit hard by the recession have recovered and are growing.
“Just a few years ago there were many defunct industrial spaces in Detroit,” Lichter said. “A bulk of those are gone as the auto industry recovered.”
Here’s a look at how once abandoned factories and commercial buildings are getting a makeover: