Construction has begun on a new warehouse and distribution center in California’s growing Central Valley industrial market. Seefried Industrial Properties, together with USAA Real Estate as capital partner, has broken ground on a 1 million-square-foot build-to-suit project in Visalia, Calif.
According to the project plan on Seefried’s website, the building will be occupied by Ace Hardware. The Fortune 500 retail cooperative announced the project in August this year, estimating it would add 400 jobs to the region. The building will serve as an Ace Hardware support facility for its existing distribution centers in metro Sacramento and Prescott Valley, Arizona.
The developer tapped Clayco as general contractor, Lamar Johnson Collaborative as architect and Kimley-Horn for design engineering services. Completion is expected in 2022’s fourth quarter.
The building will rise at 2045 N. Plaza Drive, on an 81-acre site just over 2 miles north of the interchange of state routes 99 and 198. It will feature a cross-dock configuration, offering 155 dock-high and four grade-level loading doors, 40-foot clear height and 140-foot-deep truck court. According to Ace Hardware, the facility will also include a climate-controlled environment and automation systems. An approximately 20,000-square-foot office component is also planned, as well as a 348,528-square-foot potential future expansion.
Seefried’s new development is situated within Visalia Industrial Park, an area of over 1,500 acres in northwestern Visalia, where the city has devoted land for industrial development. The site is relatively equidistant from the Port of Oakland to the north and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the south, while also acting as a hub for several logistics networks that serve multiple states.
Growing in Central Valley
California’s industrial real estate sector had a great year, with port markets performing especially well. Despite growing supply chain issues, labor shortages and other obstacles, the West Coast powered through, recording some of the lowest vacancies and fastest-growing rents.
According to CommercialEdge data, almost 60 percent of Central Valley’s industrial stock is more than 26 years old. A flurry of new developments has sprung up in the market over the past 12 months. Central Valley currently has more than 7.6 million square feet of new industrial space under construction, of which 6.3 million square feet broke ground this year, CommercialEdge data shows. Year-to-date, completions in Central Valley totaled 5.3 million square feet, already exceeding 2020’s construction activity level.
Developers that have projects underway in Central Valley include ElmTree Funds, Crow Holdings—which, together with Seefried, recently started construction on a project in Phoenix—as well as Tejon Ranch, Clarion Partners and Duke Realty, among others.