Jeff Eichhorn, Executive Vice President of Henkle Schueler & Associates, recently sat down with three other local commercial real estate experts as part of the Commercial Real Estate Roundtable discussion hosted by the Cincinnati Business Courier.
The Roundtable discussed the commercial real estate in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. When asked what the current state of commercial real estate is in the region, Eichhorn had this to say:
“On a very broad level, it’s hot. Northern Kentucky, especially with Amazon Prime announcement, there’s a big demand for industrial, bulk warehouse and logistics just to tie into the airport, DHL and Amazon. Also, Butler and Warren Counties are very active. And, what our firm specializes in is land development and industrial manufacturing development, and those segments are very hot right now.”
Taking a Look at Retail and Regional Potential
The trio of experts spoke in length about the state of the hospitality industry in the area, and which parts of the Cincinnati-Dayton-Northern Kentucky metroplex are the most active.
Jeff Eichhorn: “We operate in the suburbs, but I see incredible mixed-use development in Mason, Deerfield Township and Liberty Township. I see opportunities in Lebanon, and along the Interstate 71 corridor. And, in Northern Kentucky from a residential and industrial perspective.”
Whilst discussing the state of retail businesses, the Roundtable touched on the difficulties of reviving the downtowns of smaller cities in the area. Referring to mixed-use buildings with retail on the first floor and apartments on the second, Eichhorn said:
“I think you need to increase housing opportunities downtown. Then, pockets of smaller retail will survive.”
Throughout the discussion, Eichhorn remained focused on the importance of small business expansions in the region, while also touting the potential for larger companies looking to expand into the Cincinnati-Dayton area. Overall, it seemed that the group was a little (pleasantly) surprised to see such an uptick in industrial real estate in the region, but expressed that it’s exactly what the area needs for the local and regional economies to grow.
The Details of Land Development in Cincinnati Commercial Real Estate
Another interesting issue discussed was that of land development in the region. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky commercial real estate differ in geology, so as you move further away from the Ohio River and into Kentucky, the hills and karst topography make the land development process for commercial and industrial builds (a) more difficult and (b) more expensive. Much of the land development process often happens before you actually buy the land and build on the property, so it makes businesses looking to expand into new facilities wary. But on the other hand, Eichhorn noted that rent on commercial and industrial leases keeps rising, and vacancy rates are low. So growing companies are going to have to weigh the risks-benefits of each.
We were excited to be a part of this group and glad to have Jeff share his insight on industry trends.