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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, March 24, 2014, 5:45 am

Solano builds on wine industry success

Also: First new office space in years

By Rob Gerard, Colliers International

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    Robert Gerard

    Recent growth in the wine industry has inspired the resurgence of development of new industrial buildings in Solano County.

    Solano County is well-positioned for future commercial real estate expansion as a transportation hub for local, national and international businesses. As much of California is experiencing drought conditions, Fairfield’s exceptional water quality and quantity, as well as sewer capability, is expected to continue to draw food and beverage users, as well as other industries, in the coming months and years.

    Big new warehouses

    The new development consists of large warehouses with good clear height, such as the massive two-building project Buzz Oates Group of Companies is building on Cordelia Road in Fairfield.

    Encore Glass has leased the first building there, a 318,000-square-foot warehouse completed in January.

    Saxco International, LLC, recently signed the lease for the second building, a 473,000-square-foot warehouse that is expected to begin construction in the second quarter of 2014 and to be completed by the end of 2014. Phil Garrett and Jon Quick of Colliers’ Fairfield office represented both sides of the above two leases.

    Additionally, Mr. Garrett and Mr. Quick sold Buzz Oates the 43-acre site in November 2012 and preleased approximately 1 million square feet with Buzz Oates within the following 12 months.

    Industrial vacancy drops

    The Solano County industrial vacancy rate in 2013 declined to 9.6 percent from 11.7 percent, the largest decline in several years. Activity in the first quarter of 2014 has eased slightly off 2013′s historic pace, however there already have been two 100,000-square-foot lease transactions completed in the quarter to date.

    ICON Aircraft, Inc., which manufacturers of light sport aircraft, leased Buzz Oates’ 137,940 square foot warehouse on 2141 Beechcraft Rd. in Vacaville. Jon Quick and Phil Garrett of Colliers’ Fairfield office were the brokers on the transaction.

    Pacific Cycle, Inc., who markets and distributes a broad range of bicycles, renewed and expanded their facility at 400 Crocker Drive in Vacaville to a total of 177,000 square feet. Jon Quick and Bret DeMartini of Colliers’ Fairfield office handled the leasing.

    Office construction as vacancy eases

    The Solano County’s office market has not had as much activity as the industrial market both recently and historically. Yet it also experienced a decline in the vacancy rate in 2013, to 23.5 percent from 25.8 percent.

    And the first new office construction in the county in several years is underway. A 30,000-square-foot class A office building at 2470 Hilborn Rd. in Fairfield is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

    Eyes on Caymus

    After purchasing 265 acres of land along Cordelia Road outside of Fairfield in the past year and a half, the owner of Caymus Vineyards, a producer of high end Napa Valley wine as well as several other brands, is expected to begin construction of a 5.5 million gallon-a-year winery this spring on Cordelia Road.

    Additionally, Caymus is expected to plant vineyards on the site. This move is expected to be closely watched by the wine industry to see if Caymus can grow grapes in Solano County of comparable, or close to, quality of the grapes they currently grow in Napa and other wine regions.

    Rob Gerard is a research analyst II in Colliers International’s Fairfield office.

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