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Black Creek Group Planning 1.7M SF Of Inland Empire Industrial Projects

Black Creek Group has announced two new industrial development projects in the Inland Empire that will together bring over 1.7M SF of new industrial space to one of the nation’s hottest markets.

The Denver-based real estate investment management firm is planning the largest of the projects, the 1M SF Etiwanda Commerce Center in Rancho Cucamonga, which is the site of a decommissioned power plant. The plant was decommissioned and put on the market prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Black Creek entered into a contract for the property during the pandemic.

The Inland Empire

Though it will take a couple of years before construction on a Class-A industrial facility can begin because of the process of removing the power plant and prepping the site, Black Creek Managing Director Gregg Boehm told Bisnow that the property’s excellent location and freeway access made it a desirable site long-term.

“This will be a really amazing transformation,” Boehm said. “To see an old power plant that’s been shuttered transformed into a corporate industrial building, it’ll be pretty spectacular.”

Demolition for the Etiwanda Commerce Center is scheduled to begin in Q2 2021, with construction expected to begin in Q1 2023.

The other project, the 683K SF Riverside Logistics Center, will begin construction in the second quarter of this year. Both projects, which are being built on spec, will have abundant parking, Boehm said, in light of the growing demand from tenants who need the space either for employees to park or for trucks and trailers. The Riverside Logistics Center will have 450 stalls for parking and trailer storage. The amount of parking at the Etiwanda location is still being determined.

The Inland Empire rounded out the year with 3.2% vacancy, according to a Q4 2020 report from Cushman & Wakefield, which noted that figure was a historic low.

“The IE industrial market ended 2020 with low vacancy, strong absorption and record high leasing velocity,” the report said.

Despite the pandemic, the rents remained stable and even posted growth. The overall asking rate averaged $0.74 per SF per month, representing an annual growth rate of 1.9%, according to the report.

“Black Creek Group feels very bullish on this market, as you can see with the recent investments we’ve made and will continue to make,” Boehm said.

Black Creek is currently wrapping up construction on 624K SF of Class-A distribution warehouse space across three properties in the Inland Empire and has completed more than 3M SF of industrial space in the IE since 2016.