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Manufacturing Projects Dominate the Deal Flow

The volume of manufacturing projects across the nation is rising, while office activity has been slow to recover from the pandemic.

Q1 2024
The results of the 20th Annual Consultants Survey are very intriguing because it’s a way to calibrate project activity that we are personally seeing within Site Selection Group to that of our site selection consultant peers. Some of the results align closely to our project experience, but there are results of the survey that do not represent the bulk of our project pipeline.

It is not surprising to see that 96 percent of respondents worked on manufacturing location and expansion projects. Manufacturing projects dominate the deal flow and, in almost every industry article you read or industry event that you attend, you will hear about the volume of manufacturing projects that are occurring across the country.

What was surprising is that 41 percent of respondents worked on office/headquarters projects. Office activity has remained slow to recover from the pandemic. The office projects SSG has worked since the pandemic are heavily dominated in the call center/back office or shared services sector. However, we have noticed a shift with current projects to include more headquarters relocations. I suspect the 41 percent number will be higher in next year’s survey.

The other interesting result was 83 percent of respondents are working domestic location or expansion projects in the Midwest. This may be industry specific that is driving the activity level in the Midwest, but our project activity is predominantly South Atlantic, South, Southwest, and Mountain. The most activity level we are seeing in the Midwest is in Michigan, but it’s a very small percentage of projects compared to the Sun Belt, which is where 60–70 percent of our office projects are focused.

Overall, the results of the survey were very compelling, and it’s a great way to better understand the trends occurring within all industry sectors and within all geographic regions. It is also interesting to see the results pertaining to job creation and expected timeline.

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