Puget Sound-based Kidder Mathews commercial real estate firm reports in its first quarter summary that Pierce County and South King County led the way for Industrial Space absorption. Regional vacancy stands at 5.62 percent, down significantly from 8.47 percent at the depth of the recession.

Available industrial space is just 4.97 percent of Pierce County inventory, with South King County dropping to 5.93 percent. The tight market has stimulated two larger new speculative construction projects. Benaroya’s Sumner Distribution Center expects to have 441,249 sq. ft. ready by this August. In Fife, the Prologis Fife Distribution Center plans its latest 241,880 sq. ft. facility to be available by October.

The strong recovery has also stimulated new land acquisition by developers positioning themselves for new projects, according to the Kidder Mathews analysis.

Since 2013 began, Duke Realty purchased 92 acres in DuPont and the Steilacoom Historical School District sold nearly 31 acres to a private investor, Islero LLC. LaSalle Investment Management acquired 15.4 acres in Sumner and IDS Real Estate and Clarion Partners bought the former Boeing Space Center in Kent.

There are also plans for 350 acres near McCleary in Thurston County for a steel pipe fabrication plant.