The developers of a new 378,405-square-foot distribution warehouse in Fairfield are looking to attract companies whose needs for distribution and storage space are bumping against scant availabilities and rising rents.
Site work has just started at the 19.6-acre project site at 2200 Courage Drive, fronting on Highway 12 in Solano Business Park and a mile from Interstate 80. Called Interstate 80 Logistics Center, the building is designed by HPA Architecture’s East Bay office with 36-foot clear height (vertical space for racks), 7-inch-thick reinforced concrete slab, cross-dock capability, 69 truck dock-high doors, four drive-in doors, 31 dedicated trailer parking spaces and 192 spaces for automobiles. Column spacing in the class A warehouse is set to be 56 feet by 60 feet, and the “speed bay” for staging loads on trucks is 60 feet deep.
Being built by Millie and Severson General Contractors (www.mandsinc.com), the project is set for completion in summer of next year.
In addition to the higher clear distance that’s becoming more common with new warehouses, particularly those marketed to more automated operations, is 4,000 amps of power to be staged at the facility. Several recent large warehouse projects in Solano and Napa counties have attracted e-commerce operations. Those include Serena & Lily and Amazon in Vacaville, Ikea in Napa and Blue Apron’s brief venture in Fairfield.
Developers of the Interstate 80 Logistics Center project are Atlanta-based Ridgeline Property Group (www.ridgelinepg.com) and Texas-based USAA Real Estate.
“The supply side of the market is one of the tightest we’ve been in,” said Steve Arthur, one of the Ridgeline partners. “This location is well-suited to serve the Bay Area, into Sacramento, the Central Valley and throughout Northern California.”
Industrial space vacancy rates in Napa, Solano and other Bay Area counties have been in the single digits in recent quarters. Vacancy has been steadily falling in Solano, dipping over 1 percentage point in 12 months to 6.1 percent in the third quarter, according to Chris Neeb, who with Glen Dowling and Matt Bracco of Jones Lang LaSalle are marketing the Interstate 80 project.
Vacancy in the Napa market has remained consistently very low, particularly for large spaces. In the third quarter, vacancy was 1.8 percent, compared with 1.9 percent a year earlier.
“Demand remains strong, with a little over 1.5 million square feet of active user requirements targeting occupancy over the next six to nine months in both Napa and Solano counties,” Neeb said. “Most requirements range from 50,000 to 250,000 square feet, but there are a handful of companies seeking space alternatives from 400,000 to 800,000 square feet.”
Ridgeline currently has over 8 million square feet of development projects underway nationwide, including new projects in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Atlanta.
“We like the market fundamentals in and around the Bay Area, which is a core market,” Arthur said.
Another thing that attracted Ridgeline to the project compared to other opportunities in Northern California is the approach to business from local government, he said.
“(T)he city of Fairfield’s business-friendly environment will make it easy for tenants to call the project home,” Arthur said.
USAA Real Estate has been involved in other big Solano properties, including the sale of the 1.02 million-square-foot warehouse at 2600 Stanford Court in Fairfield in 2016 and the $33 million purchase of 607,000-square-foot 5195 Fermi Drive in Fairfield in 2011.