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NAIOP’s I.CON West was a Success – Top Takeaways

One of the best Industrial events in Commercial Real Estate every year is NAIOP’s I.CON West (& East). This year in Long Beach, CA mid-March there was record-setting crowd of over 1,200 of commercial real estate’s top industrial owners, developers, investors, and vendors that attended for expert speaker insights, exclusive tours, networking, and deal-making opportunities.


The conference kicked off with keynote speaker Christine Cooper, Ph.D., managing director and chief U.S. economist with CoStar Group. Cooper began with an overview of the economic environment, which she called “the good news.” Going on to say, “the nation’s GDP is strong, and the economy gained momentum in the second half of 2023 – we saw economic growth of 4.9% and 3.2% in Q3 and Q4 respectively — much higher than expected.” She concluded with “consumers are spending and will continue to do so, and interest rates are likely to fall this year. We can hope for a recovery from the full effects of the pandemic in 2025.” A positive outlook overall.

The conference is jam-packed with breakout sessions and tours providing an abundance of content leaving attendees with so much to unpack. Some of the topics of the sessions this year included, predicting the path of the supply chain, construction materials and labor costs, EV truck-charging demand, environmental due diligence, health and wellness in industrial buildings, AI and technology in industrial development and industrial development in Mexico. To say it was a couple full days of sharing quality content is an understatement, so much new and evolving regulations within Industrial CRE to cover in a short time. Checkout NAIOP’s blog for more information specific to the breakout sessions here,


Top Takeaways:


  • Industrial real estate is rebalancing from its boom-and-bust years.
  • To stay competitive, supply chain experts must invest in efficiencies in both the external part of the chain (ex. port operations) as well as in transportation (ex. robotics).
  • S.-Mexico trade is now outpacing U.S.-China trade by more than 40%.
  • Now is the best time to capitalize on grants and incentives for California’s phased transition to all zero-emission vehicles.
  • Industrial tenants are expanding beyond California into other regions of the Southwest; it is a complementary strategy rather than a California exodus.
  • ESG regulations and reporting requirements can lead to market differentiation, improved communication with tenants, and interest from global investors.
  • Health and wellness in industrial buildings covers a wide range of considerations: individuals’ physical, mental, emotional health, and more.
  • By paying early attention to all aspects of due diligence, projects can be completed on time and under budget – with no surprises.
  • Some ESG changes in industrial buildings can have low costs but high impacts, while design adjustments can save money during development.
  • Power is a major consideration for industrial tenants in Southern California.
  • AI works from a combination of data analytics and machine learning; correct data is the very first and most important step in using AI.
  • Industrial outdoor storage is a functional piece of the supply chain.


For a detailed look into the top takeaways,


Few More Key Highlights

  • 18 million square feet of industrial space China has invested in Mexico since 2019.
  • 25 million total consumers located in Southern California. They spend, on average, 10% more than typical U.S. consumers.
  • Transportation and inventory account for 60-70% of supply chain costs.
  • More than 150 foreign companies said in 2023 that they will open a new operation or expand into Mexico. These sectors include automotive, energy, manufacturing, and IT.


Finally, four national experts took the stage to discuss what lies ahead for this popular asset class and the results are in:

  • Capital Raising is Down, Cash is King
  • Not Much Distress, But More Scrutiny
  • Embracing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
  • Nearshoring and Onshoring

Full article, Analyzing Capital Market Trends here,

Saunders had the pleasure of exhibiting this year from the halls at the Long Beach Convention Center:


Saunders Exhibit Booth

Registration Info Signage

Day 1 Networking in the Exhibit Hall

We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who stopped by our booth and participated in the drawing. Congratulations to Holly Fessler from Birtcher Development. We look forward to connecting with everyone at future events and appreciate your support. See you at I.CON West next year! In the meantime, if you have any seismic or structural inquiries, we are the Seismic Solution Specialists please do not hesitate to contact us, We have over four decades of experience performing seismic retrofits and structural repairs and now service five states, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.


Posted Under: News & Events