Four billion square feet of warehouse space was built between 1990 and 2003, yet Toys for Tots can’t find anyone willing to donate some of it to a good cause this year. Toys for Tots is a national program devoted to providing gifts for less fortunate children during the holidays.
Last year the Denver Area Toys for Tots groups collected over 140,000 toys for 96,000 local children. Unfortunately, all that stuff needs to be housed somewhere in the meantime and this year they’re having trouble finding commercial warehousing space, according to the Denver-area Fox affiliate KDVR.com.
“We’re still looking and hoping for the right spot,” said Sgt. Phillip Sena, a Toys for Tots spokesman.
In years past, including last year, there has been enough vacant manufacturing warehouse space that businesses and commercial real estate development companies would donate commercial warehousing to the program for a couple months. That hasn’t been the case so far this year.
The biggest factor influencing the recent scarcity in finding a warehouse to rent is the booming marijuana industry. Commercial warehouse space rent has tripled in value compared to recent holiday seasons, according to local Realtors in the market. This is on top of the fact that the U.S. storage and warehouse leasing industry is worth about $26 billion.
The number of marijuana growing operations continues to climb and as it does commercial warehousing becomes more rare. Additionally, the demand for storage space in general grows by an average rate of 7% every year.
“There’s warehouses that were vacant getting bought up. I totally get the business aspect. Consumer vs. charity… it’s getting a little tougher for us to find space,” Sena said.
The charity program is still hoping someone will find it in their hearts to donate a 25,000-square-foot space, but if they have to they will pay to rent the space needed. However, doing that will ultimately reduce the total number of children they will be able to help.