Thursday, May 24, 2012

REAL ESTATE: Developer closes escrow on Meridian land ...

Developers have closed escrow on a site in the Meridian business park, and a 600,000 square-foot industrial property will start going up, probably as early as this summer.

LNR Property, the master developer for the Riverside business park that is home to distribution centers for companies that include Kia Motors and Fresh Easy, has closed escrow on a deal with San Francisco-based Newcastle Partners, it was announced earlier this week.

Newcastle Partners will look for a tenant or a buyer who wants to operate along Interstate 215, one of Southern California?s busiest distribution routes.

According to a statement, Newcastle Partners plans an August ground breaking. The company, which runs its Southern California operation from offices in Corona, has also developed similar-sized distribution facilities in Ontario and Fontana.

A distribution center for food supplier Sysco is currently under construction at Meridian, and McLane Food Services and Walgreens are among the other tenants. The Meridian project, on the former March Air force Base property, is 1,290 acres and about 3.3 million square feet have been developed so far.

Representatives of the two developers could not be reached for comment.

Since the start of the recession, there has not been a lot of new construction for large warehouse space in Inland Southern California, but much of the new space that has been added is not occupied right now.

Many of these vacant facilities are in the I-215 corridor, in Riverside, Moreno Valley and Perris, said Bruce Springer, senior vice president for commercial real estate brokerage Lee Associates.

For example, the 692,000 square-foot warehouse on Perris Blvd. and Nandina Avenue in Moreno Valley was competed early this year but has no tenant.

?There are a number of 600,000 or 700,000 square-foot, brand-new, state of the art buildings,? Springer said. ?I?d like to see some of them leased up.?

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