Warehouse wars.

The big-bucks online retailers are competing for buildings in North Jersey and elsewhere to support their distribution of merchandise.

People are buying more and more stuff online from the likes of Amazon and Box.com, getting deliveries from FedEx or UPS.

"Vacancies are at probably an all-time low," says East Rutherford real estate expert Stan Danzig, of Cushman and Wakefield. He says Amazon has moved in with a vengeance, as have Box.com and a number of the food companies who do online ordering and delivery of food.

Danzig says online retailing heavy hitters want their distribution close to dense population centers like New York City and North Jersey to whisk that stuff to consumers quicker. And it will only get bigger.

"There is still a lot of room for growth in the online business," he says.

Depending on who's statistics that you read right now, online retailing is 7 or 8 percent of total retail sales. And the experts are predicting that online will reach 25 percent or more of total retail sales.

Danzig says the online business has changed the business of building and warehouse development. As a result, developers have redeveloped a lot of sites that previously would not have been useable or functional, and turned them into modern distribution centers.

"Online retailers are forced to take less than ideal situations. For example, taking two buildings where they would prefer to have just one."

He also says developers have had to cater their developments to accommodating more employee parking, more trailer parking, better proximity to FedEx and UPS.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at Joe.Cutter@townsquaremedia.com

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