The “new normal”… a phrase that has been stated repeatedly since the COVID-19 outbreak. Most people think that the “new normal” refers to us wearing masks and social distancing, maybe even fist and elbow bumping in lieu of shaking hands, but what about the new normal for the commerce world?

Obviously, many companies are beginning to rethink their need for office space, as many white collared jobs were performed successfully from home during the initial lockdowns. On the other hand, demand for e-commerce skyrocketed for retail giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Costco, just to name a few.

Along with this increase in online ordering comes the increased need for more industrial space to store and distribute all this product. Some industry experts predict this increased demand for industrial space could top 1 billion square feet over the next five years. Much of this space will come from the repurposing of existing buildings; however, a lot of it will also be new construction. That is great news for blue-collared workers and should play perfectly into the economic recovery of our nation.

Another use that has the real potential to see a sudden spike in demand is “cold storage” facilities. Not only is online shopping for groceries on the rise, but there is a real possibility that big pharma moves its production back to the states to prevent any possible interruptions to their supply lines. It was certainly unsettling to learn, during the early days and weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, that 80% – 90% of our most widely used drugs (including antibiotics and even Tylenol) are made abroad and shipped back to the US for distribution.

If and when these predictions come to fruition, you can rest assured that D.L. Howell & Associates will be willing, ready, and able to pounce into action and get these establishments designed, permitted, and ready for construction. Give us a call!