COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–By the end of 2023, Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park will have the ability to develop an additional about 4.5 million square feet of industrial space.

The Federal Aviation Administration is gearing up to release around 320 acres to the Port Authority, which owns the land, said Ben Struewing, vice president of leasing and development at Duke Realty, the development partner of Rickenbacker International Airport.

“The land had to be released from the FAA for development,” Streuwing said. “That’s the official start of that process to get through the FAA to be able to put it in production for industrial development, which was always the plan.”

Once this land is made available, Struewing said all phases of the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park will be available for industrial and warehousing development. Specific details of future plans are not available.

The expansion of the logistics park comes at a time when Columbus’ industrial demand is at a record low of 2.1%.

Jeff Lyons, executive vice president at CBRE, previously told Columbus Business First that the vacancy rate reflects the area’s economic health and its strategic place in distribution circles.

“Columbus is right square on the national map right now,” Lyons said in December. “This market is going to grow over the next five years, maybe more so than any other market in the Midwest.”

In 2021, the area delivered more than 10.26 million square feet of industrial space, the ninth most in the country, according to a study from CommercialSearch, a Yardi-backed commercial real estate site.

Since 2012, the market has added 48.8 million square feet of space, the 11th most in the nation, going to the study.

Going forward, Central Ohio will be bringing even more space online. Struewing said multiple additional industrial sites in Rickenbacker’s Global Logistics Park are planned.

Construction will begin in March on a 518,000-square-foot speculative building at the park’s Rail Campus, with a target completion date of December 2022, Struewing said.

And a 580,000-square-foot building on the park’s Intermodal Campus is now under construction, which recently landed an as-yet-undisclosed tenant. That building is estimated to be completed in October 2022.

“In today’s world, these tenants don’t have time (to wait),” Struewing said.

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