Napa and Solano counties have been enjoying a string of large industrial real estate deals in recent months, and a number of projects are moving into construction as space options dwindle.
Companies are shopping for 3.25 million square feet of industrial space in North Bay counties, mainly Napa and Solano, according to tracking by The Dowling-Bracco Team of JLL. That includes firms that have toured prospective properties, plan to or have done so in the past few months but put plans on hold.
“There is a fair amount of activity in the market, but I would say, it’s slightly less than it was a year ago,” said agent Matt Bracco.
At that time, space requirements totaled roughly 4 million square feet.
The decrease is partly because there’s not many options to browse, Bracco said. About 1.5 percent of the roughly 17 million square feet of significantly sized industrial spaces in Napa County are available for lease.
Industrial vacancy plummeted in the county from 5.2 percent at the mid-year point in one deal. This fall, Dutch furniture company Ikea leased the newly completed 646,000-square-foot first building at DivcoWest’s and Orchard Partners’s 218-acre Napa Logistics Park development at 1 Middleton Way in American Canyon, according to real estate sources. Ikea and the property’s agents with Cushman & Wakefield declined to comment.
“There are a few planned products, which will probably break ground in the spring, and there’s activity on them right now,” Bracco said.
One Napa Valley project could be the second phase to Napa Logistics Park, which is planned for 2.9 million square feet in five buildings when done. The 372,000-square-foot Building 5 would have warehouse clear height — how high inventory can be stacked before reaching the roof — of 32 feet, 120 truck docks and four to eight grade-level doors.
The Pigman Companies of Sacramento plans to speculatively build the first of seven buildings in its Napa Commerce Centre project on Airport Boulevard at the intersection of Highways 12 and 29. The 83,000-square-foot building may be preleased by the time construction begins, Bracco said.
Indianapolis-based Scannell Properties, which built a 650,000-square-foot distribution center for Biagi Bros. and Jackson Family Wines in American Canyon a few years ago, plans to build a 90,000-square-foot warehouse in Napa Valley Gateway Business Park speculatively in spring.
Sacramento-based Buzz Oates Group of Companies, an active industrial-space building in Solano, has a 120,080-square-foot cross-loading distribution center coming out of the ground at 10 Jim Oswalt Way in American Canyon.
Innova Development of Los Angeles is building an 82,000-square-foot new wine-bottle-decoration plant for Bergin Glass Impressions at 451 Technology Way in south Napa. The 28-year-old company is expanding from 40,000 square feet nearby.
Innova also plans to build a 70,000-square-foot speculative warehouse.
Oakland-based Channel Properties, which built the landmark The Riverfront mixed-use complex in downtown Napa, is looking to prelease part of an over 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Napa Valley Gateway Business Park in south Napa before starting construction.
“As you can see, very low vacancy in south Napa Valley and product coming to market in middle to late 2018, and that should probably fare well,” Bracco said. “There are enough wine industry requirements that should satisfy a good portion of that new product coming to market.”
Another sign of activity in the Napa–Solano commercial property market is construction equipment finally rolling at the 154-acre Napa Pipe plant redevelopment project after 12 years of preparation. Excavation of about 122,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil started this year to build the first of 10–15 years of phases to the project, located at 1025 Kaiser Road near the intersections of Highways 29 and 221 south of Napa.