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Roof Lifting: From Exit Strategy to Revitalization

How roof lifting transforms vacant, low-clearance properties into highly competitive real estate.

As the desire for strategically located, tall-clearance commercial real estate has drastically increased over the past 20 years, investors are often left grappling with the reality of shorter spaces in their portfolio sitting vacant.

However, roof lifting offers an alternative solution that increases usable space and boosts property values at a fraction of the cost of redevelopment. Shorter-height properties struggle to meet the requirements of modern logistics, warehousing, and manufacturing businesses, many of which have begun to demand higher ceilings for efficient operation, taller storage solutions, and room for advanced machinery.

It’s resulted in longer vacancy periods, reduced tenant interest, and an unfortunate decline in rental income that has many investors looking for an exit strategy. Modernizing these structures to current standards historically requires costly and extensive renovations, often with uncertain returns, leaving owners with few viable options. The impact is that many are pushed towards the humble decision of selling their spaces at depreciated values.

Instead, forward thinking property holders are deciding to invest in structural roof lifts, as offered by LIFTEX, to give their property a competitive edge and to retain a footing in sought-after real estate markets littered with outdated structures.

LIFTEX Commercial Roof Lift Projects

Outdated Designs Lose Their Appeal More Every Day.

Quick history lesson: most commercial and industrial properties in the United States built between the 1950s and the turn of the millennium were erected with shorter heights that reflect the economic needs of the time period. As supply chains evolved over the decades, generating a need for more storage space in densely populated cities, property values grew while the structures built on them did not. The result is a vicious cycle of reduced interest from prospective tenants and buyers, leading to a steady decline in the property’s financial viability and market position.

These shorter properties that fail to deliver the spatial dynamics required for the modern supply chain are being sold off at a massive discount by nervous real estate investors who want to minimize their losses. Roof lifting has emerged as an expedient solution for bringing these older, shorter properties back to life and enabling real estate investors to maintain a hold on property in highly sought-after locales.

Real-Life Examples.

Imagine a mid-century manufacturing facility in an urban industrial zone, constrained by its 14-foot ceilings and progressively becoming irrelevant in the contemporary market. Through the magic of roof lifting, in a few short months, the clear height is elevated to 26 feet, transforming the once obsolete space into a property that closely resembles a more modern warehousing and manufacturing facility.

After the roof lift, the building is poised to attract tenants, such as a powerful e-commerce company seeking a last-mile urban distribution center, allowing the property owner to increase its rental income and market value significantly. LIFTEX is helping property investors revolutionize their space every day by lifting the roofs for a myriad of projects. From manufacturing plants and distribution centers to retail spaces and indoor gyms, buildings once limited by height have been able to increase their revenues by up to 300% with the extra space granted from the lift.

Get the ROI you want from that old, short building with roof lifting.

As observed by Janover, “Experts suggest that tenants can increase the capacity of a warehouse by 10-25% simply by increasing a building’s clear height from 32 feet to 36 feet.”

The increase in elevation expands the usable space. It makes room for additional revenue streams, making it attractive to a broader range of tenants and buyers, particularly those in high-value sectors like technology, logistics, and e-commerce. Even without a direct tenant in mind, the resultant spike in demand leads to competitive rental rates and a higher occupancy rate, significantly boosting the property’s income stream.

As LIFTEX’s clients have noted, these improvements have paved the way for a compelling return on investment, often surpassing initial expectations and the returns from traditional renovation methods.

Shorter timelines, bigger profits.

LIFTEX has perfected our proprietary roof lifting system over the last 50 years, allowing us to execute expansive roof lift projects for our clients in a fraction of the time that would be needed to find and secure new property or redevelopment of existing space.

By honing this process over the years, we’ve been able to increase the clear height of commercial properties to the desired height in as little as two months, resulting in a turnaround that pleases investors and businesses alike when compared to typical construction timelines.

The typical concerns about prolonged construction project timelines and disrupting business operations are often mitigated through efficient project management. Even better, some clients in the warehousing space have been able to maintain partial continued occupancy during the roof lift.

Ultimately, the perception of high costs associated with roof lifting is frequently offset by the significant value addition and the avoidance of more expensive alternatives like complete rebuilds or relocations.

Sustainable: Check. Profitable: Check.

For investors that operate under guidelines for environmental and societal impact, roof lifting stands out as a sustainable renovation practice, markedly reducing construction waste and the demand for new construction materials.

By preserving the existing structure and minimizing the need for demolition, roof lifting has been chosen by CRE firms with eco-friendly building initiatives aimed at contributing to reducing the carbon footprint associated with construction.

Roof lifting exemplifies how adaptive reuse can lead to significant environmental benefits, including the conservation of resources and decreased landfill waste, setting a precedent for sustainable development within the commercial real estate sector.

Savvy real estate investors are holding – and lifting – property in sought after areas.

Roof lifting will continue to redefine the landscape of commercial real estate development now and in the years to come. Investors who commit to holding on to and lifting their once-depreciating assets are poised to reap the highest reward for their ingenuity and foresight.

As urban density increases and the demand for efficient use of space intensifies, the ability to vertically expand existing structures will become a necessity more than an innovative yet sparse solution. By encouraging sustainable urban development and maximizing the utility of existing infrastructures, roof lifting can lead the way to a new wave of property revitalization focused on vertical expansion.

As more property owners and developers recognize the economic and environmental benefits of roof lifting, we’re likely to see more real estate investors opt to lift the roof over offloading their shorter structures.

Need Help Making a Choice?.

LIFTEX pioneered the commercial roof lift, helping businesses across the country earn more out of their existing space.

If your team is looking for options or simply have questions about roof lifting, contact our team of roof lifting experts today!

Explore your options today – call LIFTEX !


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