BTS – a build to suit warehouse. What is it?

In most cases, there is only one answer. If there is no warehouse space suited to meet the needs of the company, the best option is to choose build-to-suit development.


Build-to-suit properties are especially popular among entrepreneurs whose demands concerning warehouse space are specific,or production companies not willing to engage their working capital in order to be able to quit the market quickly and cheaply – says Joanna Choromańska, responsible for BTS investments in JLL.

Build-to-suit investment

Build-to-suit investment is a warehouse property build for a specific tenant.

Thanks to the BTS system, customers are able to specify the details in line with their needs and the project can be implemented exactly according to their requirements.The tenants are free to compose warehouse space modules, so they get exactly what they expect – says Joanna Choromańska, Business Development BTS Manager, JLL.

Advantages of build-to-suit solutions

The greatest advantage of build-to-suit solutions is the free choice of location. BTS allows for freedom in respect of location. – The properties are most often developed in the location chosen by the tenant, which often means that the developer buys a new plot – explains JLL’s Joanna Choromańska.

The possibility of choosing appropriate location is a huge advantage for the tenant and often it is the key argument for choosing BTS. However, if the location preferred by the tenant is not covered by the developer’s land portfolio and is not one of the locations preferred by the developers (these are, among other things, Upper and Lower Silesia, which are popular among the developers and are characterized by a high supply of warehouse space because of their infrastructure and location), the lease term for such a construction will be at least 10 years and the surface area of the building will have to exceed 10,000 sq m.

This is because in locations where the demand for warehouse and industrial space is not high, the construction must bring profit to the developer during the tenant’s lease term. Thus, rent rates tend to be quite high in locations which are not very popular among developers.

What is more, BTS provides flexibility in terms of the size of industrial area

It is depends only on the operating needs of the customer. There is also freedom in terms of cooperation – the available options are tenancy agreement or construction in order to sell the investment to the customer.

- BTS allows for efficient management of storage space in order to take advantage of its potential, optimization of the production and storage processes and effective utilization of all the solutions installed in the warehouse – adds Joanna Choromańska, Business Development BTS Manager, JLL.

One thing we have not mentioned yet are BTS buildings intended for production – where the production company does not want to engage its capital by buying a plot and constructing a building and decides to utilize BTS in order to economize on the investment and future maintenance costs. That is because it is cheaper to maintain build-to-suit buildings with solutions that are adapted to the customers’ needs and the nature of their industry.

A disadvantage of BTS is signing an 8 to 10-year contract

Another thing worth mentioning is the time horizon of building a BTS – if the developer does not own the land intended for the investment, the period of development might be about 24 months, dependent on its size and the technical and legal status of the plot. In the case of building a BTS in an existing logistic park (where the developer has, for example, already obtained the building permit) the building can be commissioned within 6 months.


Joanna Choromańska

See also

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How to reduce the lease rate in an existing contract? Negotiating lease terms


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Regardless of whether there is a need to lease new space or the existing contract is about to expire, it is always worthwhile to check the alternative solutions available on the market. It might turn out that it is possible to get new, lower rates — this will be discussed in detail by Tomasz Mika, National Director, JLL.

What should be determined before concluding a lease agreement?


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Before the tenant concludes a contract with the lessor of a warehouse or industrial building, they should take notice of several important things. Prior to signing the contract, it is worth to carefully analyse it in order to prevent mistakes that might severely affect the business in the years ahead.