Christian Perez Giese 

Christian Perez Giese
Senior Vice President-Director
Advisory & Transaction
Services, Industrial & Logistics

"El Paso’s industrial sector is driven by two very important factors: logistics and labor. El Paso is the logistics hub for neighboring Ciudad Juarez, Mexico—home to many of the world’s top manufacturing firms, which occupy 72 million sq. ft. of industrial space and employ more than 300,000 highly skilled workers. Together, the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez ‘borderplex’ is one of the most competitive industrial markets in the world. The global trends driving near-shoring, supply chain resiliency and speed-to-market all come together in El Paso."


More than 1 million people in the U.S. live within 50 miles of downtown El Paso, with a forecast population increase of 4% over the next five years. Texas is projected to have the fastest growing population of any state over the next five years and there are more than 1.5 million people who live across the border in neighboring Ciudad Juarez.

Figure 1: El Paso Population Analysis
Distance from Downtown El Paso

Source: CBRE Labor Analytics.
*Population totals do not include Mexico.

An influx of distribution occupiers has increased the number of warehouse workers in the region. According to CBRE Labor Analytics, 9,399 people work in the local distribution industry, with a forecast 3.8% increase over the next 10 years. The average salary for non-supervisory warehouse workers is $11.31 per hour—17.4% lower than the national average. 

Figure 2 : Warehouse & Storage Labor Fundamentals

Source: CBRE Labor Analytics.


According to CBRE Location Incentives Group, nine economic-incentive deals totaling more than $13.3 million, for an average of $5,140 per new job, were closed in El Paso over the past four years. These incentives can help mitigate up to 25% of a project’s overall cost. Among the top incentive programs offered in El Paso is the Skills Development Fund, which provides grants that help companies and labor unions form partnerships with local community colleges and technical schools to provide custom job training. There currently is a premium for worker skills and training in site selection, and states that continue to invest in workforce development are becoming increasingly attractive. Texas provides one of the country’s top workforce training programs, which averages $1,800 per employee.

Another attractive incentive program available in El Paso is the Texas Enterprise Fund, which awards “deal-closing” grants to companies considering a new project for which a Texas site is competing with other out-of-state sites. The fund incentivizes a company whose project would contribute significant capital investment and new employment opportunities to the state’s economy.

Figure 3: Top Incentive Programs

Source: WAVTEQ Incentives Flow; January 2016 to December 2019.


The Borderplex region has five international ports of entry, three of which handle commercial traffic: Ysleta-Zaragoza, Bridge of the Americas and Santa Teresa. The border crossings connect El Paso, Southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez—the world's largest international border metroplex. More than 11.1 million passenger vehicles, 7.7 million pedestrians and 926,000 commercial vehicles entered the U.S. through the five entry points in 2019. More than $106.9 billion in total trade passed between the El Paso and Santa Teresa ports in 2019, the third largest in trade with Mexico and Canada and 12th largest for all international trade.

El Paso’s robust warehousing and supply base sits on Interstate 10, equidistant from Los Angeles and Houston, which makes it the perfect distribution point for goods from Ciudad Juarez to U.S. consumers. The Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Intermodal ramp is part of the Sunset Corridor, directly connecting the region with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.


The El Paso industrial market had 134,955 sq. ft. of net absorption in Q2 2020, continuing an almost uninterrupted trend of positive quarterly net absorption since 2014. While net absorption decreased quarter-over-quarter in Q2, total H1 2020 absorption was almost 120,000 sq. ft. more than a year ago. The market had an average annual asking rental rate of $5.33 per sq. ft., a 14.9% increase compared with the same time a year ago and the third highest rate of growth in the country.

Twelve projects totaling 1.8 million sq. ft. of industrial space were under construction as of Q2, the largest amount seen since CBRE began tracking the market. Nine of these were speculative projects totaling 1.5 million sq. ft. This is three times the number of existing speculative buildings and almost four times the existing speculative space in the El Paso industrial market. Expected delivery of the new supply ranges from late 2020 to early 2021 and will help meet increased demand from industrial users who were seeking a record-high 2.5 million sq. ft. of space in Q2.

Figure 4: El Paso Historical Data

Source: CBRE Research, Q2 2020.

Figure 5: El Paso Size Range Comparison

Source: CBRE Research, Q2 2020.

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