Cold Storage Firm Signs 165K SF Lease Expansion in Inland Empire

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DSW Distribution Centers has expanded its cold storage lease with UBS Realty Investors in Southern California’s Inland Empire.

The lease now spans 190,325 square feet, including a renewal for 164,975 square feet and a 25,350-square-foot expansion at two adjacent facilities in Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County. Newmark brokered the deal. 

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The Lincoln Distribution Center at 8858 Rochester Avenue serves DSW’s headquarters facility, and provides storage and distribution of food and pharmaceutical products. The new facility is located across the street at 8675 Rochester Avenue.

“Due to very high demand for cold and air-conditioned supply chain services, we invested into converting our ambient space to temp-controlled and then added the new facility across the street for dry space needs,” said Brad Thayer, DSW president and CEO.

Cold storage facilities performed well during the economic downturn. About 95 percent of food produced in, or imported to, the U.S. last year went through third-party centers, with the grocery sector being the main occupier of cold storage space. 

Medical and pharmaceutical research companies, whose importance the pandemic highlighted, also depend on a climate-controlled environment to protect clinical products and the development and distribution of therapeutic treatments.

Cold storage warehouse development has been steady, according to Newmark, with the delivery in the U.S. of approximately 24 million square feet of new inventory each of the past three decades. Approximately 15 million square feet has been completed in the past five years, with Illinois, California,and Texas leading the nation in development.

The industrial sector in general was already experiencing a shift in supply chain activity prior to COVID-19, and e-commerce increased the growing demand for last-mile distribution. The Inland Empire industrial market’s high leasing activity from the last nine months of 2020 carried over into early 2021. The vacancy rate hit a record-low 2.4 percent this year, while the asking rent notched a new high of $0.73 a square foot. 

Newmark’s Matt Moore and Wes Hunnicutt represented DSW.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.