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Comments by:Susan HarveySenior Vice PresidentAshley CapitalNew York City

Last week’s Feedback Poll explored the direction industrial growth is going to take in the next few months. The rose goes to the Sunbelt, with 33% of the vote. Coming in second was the Midwest with 27%, and New Jersey, with 21% came in third. Bringing up the rear, Asian influences aside, is Southern California, which pulled in 19%. Harvey, who confesses to have a soft spot for the industrial market she covers–the Midwest–provides her own spin:

“My first response would be to look to the port cities for future growth. That being said, it doesn’t surprise me that the West Coast brings up the rear.

“After last year’s Long Beach port strike, people learned they had to diversify. They learned that they can’t rely on just one port. There’s also the cost associated with the Coast. People are trying to avoid all of these issues and come to the East Coast.

“Since I’m so heavily focused on Michigan, and Detroit is 70% automotive, there isn’t as much activity that’s consumer-product related. I can see the Sunbelt ranking first given that the population continues to relocate there. That implies retail and supplying the need for retail product.

“New Jersey is very desirable, and again this is due in part to the availability of ports. But New Jersey is pretty well maxed out, and it’s really hard to find land. The demand is there, but it’s tough to find sites.

“So, if I had to rank the growth potential, it would be: Sunbelt first, Midwest second, Southern California next and New Jersey last.”

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