Nash Distribution opens first warehouse outside of U.S. in Ottawa

Ohio-based Nash Distribution has chosen Ottawa as its first location outside of the U.S. for a warehouse facility.

The 5,200-square-foot warehouse, located at 2764B Sheffield Rd., is positioned to serve not only Ottawa, but other nearby metropolitan areas, the company said in a news release.

“As a Canada native, I know that Canadians pride themselves on working with local companies and local people,” Nash president Jeremy Cantor said.

Nash has hired Andrew Davis as its first Canadian national sales manager. Davis has over 10 years of residential general contractor experience.

“Additionally, having a warehouse in Ottawa led by a local industry expert … will all be true differentiating factors for our business north of the border,” Cantor added.

Nash provides solutions for the crawl space, basement and foundation repair contractor and has four other distribution hubs in the U.S. Based on a market research survey, Cantor and Davis identified the top 50 most in-demand products in Canada, which include sump pumps, carbon fibre wall repair and drainage matting.

“When I was a contractor, one of the biggest challenges I faced every day was sourcing quality products from a single, trusted distributor that could guarantee I wouldn’t have crews sitting around and waiting on orders,” said Davis. “Nash offers a resource that Canadian contractors currently lack and I’m excited to help get this venture off the ground in Ottawa.”

Nash’s move into Ottawa comes as the city’s industrial and warehousing sector continues to ride an unprecedented wave of momentum.

A recent study by Re/Max cited the National Capital Region’s close proximity to 400-series highways and the U.S. border as prime reasons for the surge in industrial activity.

According to the Altus Group, Ottawa’s industrial availability rate sat at 1.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, down from 3.1 per cent during the same period a year earlier.

Re/Max said the space crunch has pushed industrial lease rates to a new record average high of a net $15.50 per square foot – a 30 per cent increase over the average of $12 per square foot just two years ago.

“In the city’s east end, smaller space is almost impossible to find, with listings that do come on stream snapped up quickly, often at a premium,” the report said.

Nash Distribution is far from the only major American distribution giant to set up shop in the National Capital Region in the past few years in a bid to capitalize on the region’s close proximity to major centres like Toronto and Montreal.

Amazon, for example, has opened two fulfilment centres covering nearly four million square feet as it seeks to satisfy growing demand for same-day deliveries to consumers in Canada’s two largest cities.

Besides a 2.8-million-square-foot facility in Barrhaven that was completed last year, Amazon also leases a one-million-square-foot warehouse on Boundary Road that opened in 2019. Montreal-based developer Broccolini, which built both warehouses, is also planning to construct a 700,000-square-foot distribution centre for Amazon in North Gower, a project that’s now under appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

In addition, a number of other new industrial projects are on the go, including three sites in Kanata – 1500 Upper Canada St., 1300 Upper Canada St. and 103 Schneider Road. Real estate brokerage Colliers said earlier this year there were six industrial buildings under construction across the region, covering a total of nearly 370,000 square feet.

They include three projects expected to be completed in the first half of this year – Avenue 31’s 146,000-square-foot facility that’s part of its one-million-square-foot National Capital Business Park near the corner of Hunt Club Road and Hwy. 417; a 61,000-square-foot facility being developed by American Iron and Metal Co. on Sheffield Road; and the Muzzo Group’s 50,500-square-foot building at 1300 Upper Canada St. in Kanata.

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