BY Randy Kendrick | Market Trends
November 8, 2019

Columbus, Ohio has become a major focal point for industrial and logistics real estate development, owing to several key advantages. Some such advantages include an ideal geographical location to quickly reach major U.S. and Canadian markets, access to international freight shipments through Rickenbacker International Airport, and a solid decade of population and job growth. 

2018 was a record year for industrial real estate in the Columbus market, with 4.53 million square feet of total net absorption from Q2 2018 to Q2 2019. This explosive growth led Site Selection to put Columbus on their list of the top 10 metro areas for expansion projects. The market’s strong performance has continued into 2019, with industrial vacancy dropping to 4.1% in the second quarter of 2019, according to

Central Logistics Hub

The key to Columbus’ industrial real estate growth, and the single biggest reason to believe in its long-term primacy, is its strategic geographic location. Columbus is well-situated between the major markets of Chicago, Toronto, New York and Atlanta, making it a prime location for distribution and supply chain facilities. Approximately 50% of U.S. markets and 1/3 of the Canadian population are within a day’s drive for trucking companies operating out of Columbus.

Additionally, Columbus is home to Rickenbacker International Airport, one of the country’s largest  freight dedicated airports, allowing for direct shipment from freight hubs in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In 2018, Rickenbacker had its busiest year ever, handling over.

America’s “Heart of eCommerce Corridor”

Columbus’ natural advantages with regards to logistics and industrial real estate are augmented by its proximity to Cincinnati and Louisville. Due to the extensive infrastructure connecting the three cities and the amount of shipping traffic passing through the region, JLL has dubbed this 200-mile stretch the “Heart of eCommerce Corridor.”

Along with Rickenbacker International Airport, three other cargo airports serve this eCommerce Corridor: Louisville International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International (CVG), and Wilmington Air Park.

Louisville International and CVG are major cargo hubs in their own right. Louisville International is the home of Worldport, UPS’ international air-sorting hub, ranking 3rd in the U.S. and 7th in the world in total amount of cargo handled per year. CVG, on the other hand, is one of three global super-hubs for DHL. And while Wilmington Air Park (sited northeast of Cincinnati) doesn’t handle the volume of the aforementioned airports, in late 2018 Amazon announced that Wilmington would be the site of a new air hub and package sorting facility.

In 2017 alone,   moved through the eCommerce Corridor. For some perspective, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire combined to move 2 million tons in the same time frame; Chicago, New York City, and Newark moved a combined 2.9 million tons of air  .

This incoming and outgoing cargo is supported by extensive infrastructure. The eCommerce Corridor is served by four major transportation interstates (I-70, I-71, I-75, and I-65) as well as ten intermodal terminals handling over 1.5 million rail lifts/year.

The Hub

Xebec recently acquired 106 acres three miles northwest of Rickenbacker Airport, and is currently under construction on “The Hub”—a master planned campus that will be comprised of five Class-A warehouse buildings that range in size between 120,000 and 1 million square feet. Situated approximately two miles from Rickenbacker International Airport, three miles from Interstate 270, and five miles from the Norfolk Southern Rickenbacker International Intermodal Terminal, the Hub will provide tenants with an ideal location for logistics operations.

Xebec is committed to identifying and developing industrial logistics real estate assets in both established and emerging metros around the country. To learn more about our development in Columbus and our full portfolio of investment opportunities, contact us today.


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