Black Creek Group to Develop 1.7M SF of Logistics Space in Inland Empire

Southern California’s market continues to grow as the need for logistics space remains high

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Black Creek Group is so bullish on Southern California’s industrial sector that they’re increasing their existing footprint in the market by more than 23 percent.

Already one of the more active developers in the Inland Empire, the Denver-based investment firm today announced two new projects in the region that will add approximately 1.7 million square feet. The two developments — the Etiwanda Commerce Center and Riverside Logistics Center — will add to the firm’s existing 7.3 million square feet of industrial holdings in the market.

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In the city of Rancho Cucamonga, Black Creek will demolish a decommissioned power plant to make way for the 1 million-square-foot Etiwanda facility over 64 acres. Demolition is scheduled to begin next quarter. At the same time, Black Creek will start building the 683,000-square-foot Riverside Logistics Center.

“It can be challenging to find opportunities to develop big-box, Class A facilities in the Inland Empire, as it’s one of the strongest industrial markets in the nation,” Gregg Boehm, managing director at Black Creek Group, said in a statement. “Given the ideal access to major transportation routes across the Western U.S., as well as the large population base in California, e-commerce and third-party logistics providers are a common tenant in this highly sought-after market, which already boasts all-time low vacancy rates and positive net absorption.”

Indeed, the warehousing and logistics market in Southern California thrived through the pandemic as consumers across the country were restricted to online shopping. Vacancy in the Inland Empire dropped to 1.9 percent by the end of 2020, the lowest recorded in at least 20 years, according to CBRE research, and the strength of industrial real estate is expected to be a foundation of Southern California’s recovery

The Inland Empire population is also growing at a record pace. The coronavirus crisis and subsequent shutdowns caused a mass exit from cities like L.A. to more suburban areas, particularly the more affordable areas to the east. While urban multifamily markets saw record declines, the multifamily and single-family markets in the Inland Empire are expanding.

In addition to the two projects announced today, Black Creek is nearly complete with three developments with approximately 624,000 square feet of new space in the Inland Empire. They include the 251,000-square-foot Perris Distribution Center III; the 93,000-square-foot Fontana Logistics Center; and the 180,000-square-foot Sierra Industrial Center

Black Creek also manages multifamily, office and retail assets. At the end of 2020, the firm had a national footprint of 70.6 million square feet across 31 U.S. markets.