What Does #agtech have to do with commercial real estate?

Ag tech and commercial real estate


Is commercial farming moving into town?  Yep!

There are great advances occurring in agricultural technology as we are quickly approaching the 2050 deadline of feeding the world at peak population. The ag industry is punching forward to introduce new, more efficient protein and other food sources. You know this important when investors are spending millions to make sure it happens, including well respected non-traditional ag investors such as Eric Schmidt with Google. With California water in short supply and increasingly land in short supply, our smart friends in #agtech are becoming very innovative.

Back to the original question: what does #agtech have to do with Commerical real estate?  What I’m seeing now is practically 3 or 4 zones together in one Industrial building. Ag, industrial, then retail.  While this may be common for an ag commodity like bread, where they blend, bake, tour, taste and finally sell through retail or their restaurants all in one building (think sourdough at Fisherman’s wharf, San Francisco), but what if they grew the rice or wheat and ground flour there too. What do you think about a warehouse where fresh commercial scale lettuce is grown and anchovies are raised, then after your tour you sit down to a caesar salad, with real ceasar dressing?  Honestly, I think the menu might be too limited for me, but you understand where I’m going.

Agtech is moving into vacant industrial buildings that are begging for occupancy.  Take for instance AeroFarms in NJ.  They are bringing new life to an old building.  There is also discussion about insect proteins, which sounds terrible until I’m told, it could be in the format of flour.  Well ok, I can probably deal with that.  The point is, insect farms will inhabit large scale vacant buildings as well.  Since those little cricket proteins don’t adjust well to dramatic climate changes, enclosed farms are necessary.

What’s the point to all this?  If you own large scale buildings in need of occupancy and revenue, you should consider an AgTech business for your next tenant.

Lora Pankey Eade