Sares Regis Continues Former Toyota HQ’s Transformation

Phase two of the project in the South Bay area of Los Angeles is slated to go vertical this month, with a sizable prelease in the works.

Phase II of Torrance Commerce Center. Image courtesy of Sares Regis Group

Sares Regis Group affiliate SRG Commercial will begin vertical construction on Phase II of Torrance Commerce Center in Torrance, Calif., this month. Totaling 615,000 square feet, the project will consist of four headquarter industrial buildings ranging between 105,000 square feet and 278,000 square feet. Completion is targeted for the first quarter of 2022.

Negotiations reportedly are underway on a lease for the 105,000-square-foot space, with a final agreement expected by the end of this month, the company announced.

The project is intended to offer well-appointed office finishes, a substantial and expanding amenity base, large and fully secure truck courts, and above-standard parking to accommodate high employee counts.

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The site is centrally positioned for ocean and air cargo, about 10 miles to Los Angeles International Airport or the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and with convenient access to the 105, 710, 405, 110, and 91 freeways.

Sares-Regis Group acquired the former Toyota national HQ, totaling 18 buildings, in October 2017 for an undisclosed price, as the automotive giant moved its North America headquarters to Plano, Texas. The complex totaled more than 2 million square feet, including such unusual features as an onsite data center, four central plants, a hydrogen fuel cell power plant, two hydrogen fueling stations, a pool and two helipads.

About 700,000 square feet of obsolete Toyota office space on 33 acres was demolished for this second phase of Torrance Commerce Center. Commercial Property Executive was unable to reach SRG for additional information.

Industrial appeal

The metro Los Angeles industrial market is seeing a level of leasing activity that’s the strongest since mid-2018, with 10 million and 11 million square feet taken up in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, according to a fourth-quarter report from Kidder Mathews. Top lessees included e-commerce and 3PL companies, such as Amazon, CH Robinson, Pilot and Schneider National.

The total availability in Torrance, in the South Bay submarket, is 5.5 percent, on an inventory of about 26.4 million square feet. That’s roughly on par with the metro-wide average of 4.6 percent, even though 2020 saw a minor degree of negative absorption in the submarket.  

On a national level, the industrial real estate sector continues to shine, with low vacancy driving increases in both rents and sale prices. According to a recent CommercialEdge report, the average industrial vacancy was 6.1 percent in February. The booming e-commerce, coupled with a wider economic recovery, will likely compress vacancy rates even further in the coming quarters, the report noted.

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