With more and more people and businesses flocking in, Idaho is seeing an increase in industrial construction. But what exactly is an industrial space, anyway? Warehouse space and industrial space are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but in fact, there is a difference. The primary differentiator is how the building will be used.
Warehouse space really centers around storage space only. Industrial space, however, is an area where businesses can not only store their products, but manufacture, assemble and fabricate them, too. In short, industrial spaces are properties that companies both work and create in.
When it comes to the planning and construction of industrial spaces around the state, there are a variety of factors that builders consider before breaking ground. Idaho Business Review talked to several companies that have recently built or are in the middle of building industrial spaces to see what their processes involved and what they considered to ensure their industrial project is a success.
Project: Meridian business center
The AI Meridian business center is an industrial park that consists of eight buildings that total 534,000 square feet. There are currently 20 tenants in the location, including companies ranging and specializing in internet sales to research and development. The first building was completed in 2007 and the final buildings intend to finalize construction in the summer of 2022. The buildings are designed for businesses in the 5,000- to 60,000-square-foot size range. Each tenant space includes dock-high loading with load-levelers and dock pads, drive-through doors, skylights, LED lighting and more.
Adler Industrial chose this location to build the industrial park because of its convenient location. It is located on Franklin Road, less than one mile from the Eagle Road interchange with Interstate 84.
“This location is one of the best locations for industrial users who service businesses and residences in Treasure Valley,” said Michael Adler, president of Adler Industrial. “The AI Meridian industrial park has been well received by the market…I am excited with the outcome of the industrial park and its long-term prospects. It has become a great part of our 3.7-million-square-foot Treasury Valley industrial portfolio.”
Project: Manufacturing facility
Hempitecture’s facility is currently under construction by Bonneville Builders and Peterson Construction. The construction team is utilizing a core shell building construction, which allows for versatility within the manufacturing processes.
Mattie Mead, CEO and founder of Hempitecture, shared: “The beautiful thing about a core shell building is that it’s very customizable to the needs of not just our business, but any business. We have been able to work with the developer to make minor modifications that fit our unique manufacturing technology.”
Mead explained that being in Jerome County was important for the business because it gives access to both the east and west sides of the Rocky Mountains.
“There are a few factors that will make our manufacturing facility successful over time, but one thing everyone is talking about is the availability of labor,” said Mead. “That will be essential to the success of our business. Additionally, Idaho’s energy costs are competitive and largely from renewables, which means that we will have a more advantageous energy portfolio…increasing the sustainability of our products.”
Jerome 20/20 Inc.
Project: Northbridge Junction
The groundbreaking for the first of three industrial buildings for Northbridge Junction was in June 2021. This 79,404-square-foot building is expected to be completed in April 2022, and as tenants come along, modifications will be determined. IronVista Development Group is partnering on the project. The next two buildings that will be built in the future will be approximately 100,000 and 200,000 square feet. Some tenants have already committed to lease the facility.
Larry Hall, executive director of Jerome 20/20, explained that being in Jerome is part of the reason why he believes Northbridge Junction will be a success. “We have great leadership here. The city and the county are very business-friendly, and we have great support,” he said.
The Northbridge Junction property is also easily accessible, located directly off Interstate 84 and Highway 93, which is described as the second busiest intersection in the entire state.
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Project: Printed circuit manufacturing facility
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) is currently building a 162,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Highway 95 in Moscow. This will be home to a state-of-the-art plant for fabricating the printed circuit boards that go into the various products that SEL manufactures to protect, monitor, automate and control electric power systems. The company has facilities in Lewiston and is currently operating out of Pullman, Washington.
Jessi Hall, senior director of vertical integration at SEL, provided a look into what the new building will be like. Hall and her team are working closely on the project details with the SEL property team, which is serving as the contractor for the new facility. That team is led by Jana Schultheis, vice president of property.
The inside of the facility is what will make this project completely unique. The goal of the operation is to exceed all local, state and federal air emissions and wastewater standards, making it a safe space for employees, neighbors and the environment. For example, the foundation will utilize a protective underlayment to ensure chemicals and liquids used in the board fabrication process will not escape in the unlikely event of a leak. It will also feature a state-of-the-art water recycling system that reduces the amount of water used and discharged.
Hall shared that the team is excited about what is to come and is hopeful that they will continue to build strong partnerships from state and local government, as well as stakeholders.
“From the beginning, our goal has been to build a very modern, highly automated, environmentally friendly, and safe facility,” Hall said. “It’s been really fun to see it all coming together! We are really excited to expand our footprint as a U.S. manufacturer, an employer in Idaho and as part of the Moscow community!”
One thing is certain: the landscape of Idaho is continuing to change. Industrial spaces are a big part of how our state will continue to evolve and build itself as a premier destination to live.
— This article was originally published in the Idaho Business Review’s Square Feet April 2022 edition.i