Doug Roberts: 25 Years in Nevada
Tuesday, December 12th 2023
DOUG ROBERTS President, National Development Group for Panattoni Doug Roberts is president of National Development Group of Panattoni Development Co. He brings over 34 years of knowledge and experience to Panattoni Development Company, Inc. His expertise is in overseeing development managers, during preliminary and ongoing stages of the budget and throughout the construction process.
1. You have been named President, National Development Group for Panattoni. What will your new role look like?
There are many initiatives as a company we are looking at in the coming few months and my role will focus on several of those initiatives including continuing to lead one of our main national accounts with a major e-commerce company, expand our national build-to-suit platform and, in general, pursue Panattoni’s entry into growing sectors of the industrial market.
2. Of the projects you have built in Northern Nevada, which are you most proud of and why?
I think the culmination of actively developing in northern Nevada was the North Valleys Commerce Center in Stead. With over 4,000,000 square feet and 300 acres, the project had so many complexities and challenges but through local relationships, hard work, great market conditions and a little luck, the project was a phenomenal success.
3. What does Panattoni Development have planned in northern Nevada over the next 12-24 months?
Panattoni Development Company continues to be very bullish on the northern Nevada industrial market. We have approximately 425 acres of owned land and expect to be under construction on new projects by the end of the year. Although there continues to be challenges in the economy and the debt and equity markets, we see great opportunity in the area given the low vacancy rates and continued tenant interest.
4. In a rapidly changing market conditions, what do you expect to see in the coming year for industrial development?
Like most industrial developers, we pay very close attention to the needs of our customers, as they are the best indicators of how we need to design our buildings to be both accommodating to their needs but also give our buildings the best chance of being leased as soon as possible. Examples would be adding trailer parking near our truck courts. This historically hasn’t been a big need for area tenants but trends have shown that more tenants are storing trailers on site as opposed to the trailers being unloaded quickly and leaving the property. In addition, power needs continue to escalate, as our buildings are more fulfillment-oriented than simple storage and distribution. Fulfillment equipment requires more power as well as more employees to fulfill customer order leading to more car parking needs.
5. What product type or asset does northern Nevada need most?
Northern Nevada continues to be a mecca for tenants and users seeking a strategic location in the middle of the eleven western states that is frankly, not in California. Even with rising vacancies in the west coast markets and diminishing tenant activity, both northern and southern Nevada are bucking these trends and are continuing to see good leasing activity, tenant tours and relatively low vacancy rates. Of course, coupled with a vibrant industrial market, is the need for housing for employees of these companies and obviously, that strains the local housing market. Developing affordable housing will continue to be an issue for the area.
6. What do you see as the biggest challenge and opportunity for your industry in the coming year?
By far the biggest challenge for the industrial sector, and frankly all of the real estate industry, is access to debt and equity at interest rates that would allow developments to proceed. Mortgage rates for home buyers remain relatively high which has stifled buyer interest in the housing sector but the interest rate issues have also materially impacted the home builders and land developers from starting projects in the first place. This applies to industrial, office and retail development so the rental rates and tenant activity have to be high to justify going vertical.
7. How long have you been involved in NAIOP and what made you choose to get involved?
I personally have been involved in NAIOP for the last 25 years. The organization serves as the preeminent organization serving the industrial market throughout the country. Membership in this organization allows developers like ourselves to both network with other members but also voice concerns among our colleagues and competitors, which enables NAIOP to address issues at a local, state and federal level.
President, National Development Group for Panattoni Doug Roberts is president of National Development Group of Panattoni Development Co. He brings over 34 years of knowledge and experience to Panattoni Development Company, Inc. His expertise is in overseeing development managers, during preliminary and ongoing stages of the budget and throughout the construction process.