Colliers' Conway says that manufacturing is driving the commercial real estate sector.

SEATTLE-Before we know it, the $5.2-billion expansion of the Panama Canal will be completed in 2015, and ports are racing to have facilities large enough to accommodate the large, or “post-Panamax” ships that will be used to cross the redone facility.

That major development in industrial real estate is detailed in the latest edition of Colliers International’s Knowledge Leader magazine. Most major West Coast ports, such as Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle, are supposedly already prepared with modifications that include a channel depth of at least 50 feet and a larger width. But some East Coast ports still have some catching up to do.

Then, once the ports are renovated, it’s not over. Infrastructure still needs to be built to make way for an increase in container traffic, both from the larger boats and the increase in manufacturing that has taken place in the United States recently.

“Who would have forecast a few years ago that we would have a manufacturing boom again,” remarks KC Conway, Coliers’ executive managing director of real estate analytics. “This rebirth of manufacturing is accelerating the need for logistics.”

The winter issue of Knowledge Leader also has an interesting article on the medical office sector and how the industry is merging with retail real estate in that more and more health clinics are finding their way in shopping centers.

Click here to see the full issue of Knowledge Leader.