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CINCINNATI-In the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport industrial market experts are seeing an influx of smaller users helping to fill the vacant spaces. Recently brokers at Colliers Turley Martin Tucker completed five industrial lease deals to occupy 60,000 square feet.

“The main velocity in the market today is in smaller office/warehouse leases,” Jeff Bender, senior vice president at CTMT, tells GlobeSt.com. “During a slow economic period, smaller privately held businesses tend to become established or expand their operations and actually lead the national economic recovery.”

The recent deals include Shankman & Associates 5,100-square foot lease at 1840 Airport Exchange Blvd.; Towne Air Freight Inc.’s 33,000-square foot renewal at 1810 Airport Exchange Blvd.; BDP International Inc.’s 10,200-square foot lease at 1840 Airport Exchange Blvd.’ GAI Consultants’ 4,300-square foot least at 1830 Airport Exchange Blvd.; and Lift Solutions’ 4,050-square foot lease at 1895 Airport Exchange Blvd.

Tenants are specifically looking at the Airport Exchange area because of “its ideal location near Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, proximity to Interstate 75 and the beltway I-275,” Bender says. The site hosts seven buildings with varying size suites from 1,800 square feet to 100,000 square feet.

While Bender says there are larger users looking to make deals, the smaller office/warehouse or flex users account for the vast majority of interest and completed transactions lately.

“The important story here is that the commercial real estate industry is not completely dead,” Bender says. “Our clients still need assistance in negotiating their leases or purchase agreements, many are still growing or otherwise need “different” types of space to grow or survive.”

Historically average lease rates in the office/warehouse sector is $5.50 per square foot. But with today’s economy those prices have fallen as low at $4.50 per square foot.

As 2009 continues, Bender says his team is closely watching job growth, capital markets, manufacturing output, and container traffic in ports to determine how the sector will fair. “The rest of the year will be extremely soft and certainly much less absorption than the previous few years,” he says.

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