- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Developers in central Indiana are building massive warehouses to draw in online retailers.

Commercial real estate firm DTZ says more than 6 million square feet of industrial space was built last year in central Indiana, the highest level in at least a decade. Huge warehouses made up nearly half of that space.

The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1D76aOK ) reports developers are trying to attract retailers who would use warehouses as fulfillment centers. About a third of construction was done without having an agreement with a tenant.

Amazon, Wal-Mart and pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts all have fulfillment centers in the region. Thousands of trucks come to central Indiana every day to drop off merchandise at such centers, with the items later sent out once retail orders are made.

New warehouses that are planned include one on the west side of Indianapolis and another near Indianapolis International Airport. One in Plainfield that’s set to be finished by May measures nearly 1 million square feet.

The Plainfield warehouse, with 36-foot-high ceilings, is co-owned by Duke Realty Corp. and Browning Investments.

“We’ve had a lot of lookers but no deals yet,” said Duke Realty senior vice president Charles Podell. “But we feel pretty confident the building won’t be empty for long.”

Developers and brokers say warehouse construction isn’t leading to excess of space. They say leases are being signed soon after buildings finish.

“That tells you there is strong demand, access to capital, successful operations and confidence in hiring,” said Bryan Poynter, senior vice president for industrial services at DTZ.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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