By Gary Joel Schacker, SIOR – United Realty
CIBS Board Member 2018, CIBS Past President 2013-2014

The Long Island Industrial Genesis commenced with businesses moving out from NYC, Queens, and Brooklyn (The City), in the 1950’s. At the time, Long Island was a developing Bedroom Community after World War II. Much of Long Island was still farm land, most notably potato fields. Visionary developers started constructing one-story industrial spaces with high ceilings (14’). Companies in the city were mostly occupying multi-story buildings with low ceilings, no land or parking, cumbersome interior elevators, and inefficient loading. The attraction of a one-story building with good loading and no elevator, along with those seemingly high ceilings, was compelling, and many businesses started to move eastward. It started in western Nassau County and has been ever moving eastward into eastern Nassau, then western Suffolk County, and ultimately eastern Suffolk County. The Long Island base grew and grew, and became more efficient, with ever better buildings with higher ceilings and more efficient loading. Long island had become the epitome of the modern high efficiency building. High quality industrial and business parks sprung up, and although the markets went up and down, the basic growth curve continued. The population grew, and the workforce grew with it. Now, we are out of room.

Then, in the last 10 years, the Millennial generation proffered a preference for urban environments and the trend started going the other way, back to the City. The world changed, Amazon and others came, and instant gratification was becoming a reality. Last mile warehousing was demanded and now we are back to the multi-story buildings. But this is not your father’s (or grandfather’s) multi-story building.

The multi-story e-commerce building is now a reality and what a reality it is. Ware Malcomb has created a multi-story prototype that can accommodate the modern warehouse facility without causing a loss of efficiency, meets current operational requirements, with high ceilings and efficient loading, that accommodates todays 53 footers on multi-levels. The building provides parking for many cars, truck loading, and yard areas. The independent steel construction utilizes nonbearing concrete wall panels that can be constructed simultaneously and erected sequentially. The building is to be divisible and between 250,000 and 500,000 sq. ft., depending on demand, and will be two to three stories with high speed freight elevators.

Long Island is becoming more urbanized, and with no land left in desirable areas, the multi-story industrial building seems like the next move. I am just waiting to see who that next visionary developer will be.