Dixie & Industrial Comps

Dixie is dealing with the question: Factory or Warehouse? As Commercial Real Property Analyst for the Any Municipality County Assessor, Dixie is evaluating comparables (sales and rentals) used in an appellant’s appraisal of a 500,000 square foot industrial building.


Unless a building is entirely purpose-built to accommodate an exotic manufacturing process, most contemporary industrial properties share common attributes and appearance. Large bulk warehousing can outwardly look like large manufacturing.

Manufacturing properties are generally a combination of fabrication, assembly, and packaging along with warehousing and distribution of the final product. The degree to which areas are dedicated to specialized operations separates manufacturing facilities from warehouses that are built solely for bulk storage and distribution.

Dixie is often tasked with reviewing provided comparables (with little time to research before the hearing) and then must decide what is, or is not, appropriate. To aid in her analysis, she consulted a couple of brokers for tips on quickly spotting which category an industrial comparable should belong in, regardless of an appraiser’s contention. Dixie learned that aerials and street view photos can aid greatly is determining whether an industrial building is a factory or a warehouse. Armed with this knowledge, she sat down at her computer and checked out the comps.


  • aerial photos reveal roof patterns & stacks related to process area
  • diverse roof heights shown on street views can reveal special design features
  • excess site areas are used for storage of raw material
  • various tanks, piping, and heavy power are evident

Storage / Distribution:

  • uniform roof heights
  • truck docks on multiple building sides reveal logistics usage
  • proximate interstate highway access for distribution & logistics
  • excess site areas are used for trailer and container staging

Dixie was able to efficiently, objectively, and quickly evaluate the provided industrial comps by performing a virtual visual check!