Petaluma’s first large industrial project in years is set to break ground this week, giving much-needed elbow room for two fast-growing Petaluma companies.
Wine-focused Scott Laboratories and dairy producer Clover-Stornetta Farms in late January signed 10-year leases for 58 percent of the 259,600-square-foot Cader Corporate Center project just off Lakeville Highway in south Petaluma.
At press time, project general contractor Devcon Construction of San Jose was set to break ground Feb. 8, and building is scheduled to be complete in late September or early October, according to Ross Berry, senior director in the San Francisco office of New York Life Real Estate Investors, which is co-managing the project for owner MNCVAD-Ind Petaluma CA LLC. There are 110,000 square feet left to fill, but local real estate experts and Berry don’t expect that to last.
“Given the level of activity we’re seeing now, we anticipate the project will be 100 percent preleased by the time we complete construction,” Berry said. Though interest has come from around the Bay Area, the deal-closers are local, he said.
“Vacancy for large industrial is under 5 percent, and for tenants to look this far ahead, to plan a year in advance, is the norm now because there is no space,” said Steven Leonard, who with Cushman & Wakefield colleagues Trevor Buck and Brian Foster brokered the Cader leases.
Having space companies need to expand is critical to attracting companies to a city and keeping them there as they grow, according to Ingrid Alverde, city of Petaluma economic development manager.
“What we know about economic development is 80 percent of growth will come from companies already here, and that’s a great example of that,” Alverde said about the Cader project and preleasing to Scott Labs and Clover.
She noted that HenHouse Brewing Co.’s move from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, announced in August, had more to do with available real estate for its growth than challenges with wastewater disposal.
Scott Labs (scottlab.com) plans to move into the 85,000-square-foot front building of the three-structure project, located at 1490 Cader Ln. The company offers laboratory services and sells fermentation supplies, filtration media, packaging such as bottle closures to the wine, cider, beer and spirits industries.
The firm is gearing up to expand and bring under one roof operations currently occupying 75,000 square feet in three south Petaluma buildings, said CEO Zach Scott.
“We’re growing,” he said.
Scott Labs now employs 100 in the U.S. and Canada, mostly in Petaluma, but the workforce size likely won’t change with the move, he said, declining to comment much further on company growth.
Started in 1933, the company has locations in Healdsburg and Paso Robles. The latter opened last year in the growing California Central Coast ultrapremium wine region. There’s also a sister company in Canada, Scott Laboratories Ltd.
Scott Labs was selected as a Business Journal 2015 Wine Industry Awards-winner in early December. At the time, the company said it employed 80.
“As Scott Labs continues to grow, we find new opportunities in the beer, cider and distilling industries,” the company told the Journal. “It’s very exciting to be on the forefront of these booming craft markets.”
Clover (cloverpetaluma.com), known for its whimsical Clo the cow mascot and pun-filled advertising, intends to set up additional distribution warehousing in 65,000 square feet of another building.