Investors and occupiers alike are still bullish on industrial real estate and for good reason. The coronavirus pandemic dampened activity nationally across most property sectors, but the amount of dollars spent on industrial property has climbed steadily since 2016. In the year ahead, e-commerce will fuel further expansion of the sector, as retailers and shippers continue updating their supply chains to meet demand.

According to CBRE, 250 million square feet of industrial net absorption is forecasted for 2021, topping a five-year annual average of 211 million square feet. Research firm Deloitte sees demand for 850 million square feet of additional industrial space in the U.S. by 2023, with e-commerce as a major contributor.

New York City is the country's largest population center. It's also a bastion of digital shoppers increasingly expecting one-day, same-day and even two-hour delivery. That's a main reason Amazon has expanded its industrial footprint across the city and is signaling additional investment in the coming years. Other retailers, digital platforms and 3rd party logistics firms (3PLs) are following suit.  On the heels of the pandemic, even the state's government has stepped in to accelerate e-commerce adoption. In October, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Empire State Digital Initiative that enlists e-commerce brands like Shopify and Etsy to train and provide marketing support to small businesses growing their online presence.

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