Developer Western Realco of Newport Beach plans to build what it believes will be the largest speculative industrial building ever undertaken in California, an 817,750-square-foot $24-million warehouse center in Fontana.
The company plans to break ground in December and to finish construction in August, said Gary Edwards, a Western Realco vice president. The development, to be called Commerce Way Distribution Center, would occupy a 35-acre site within the 180-acre Sierra Gateway Commerce Center at Santa Ana Avenue and Commerce Way.
The Western Realco project might hold the title of largest speculative industrial development only briefly, however. Newport Beach-based Master Development Corp. plans to break ground in 2000 on a speculative warehouse project called Origen Rail Center in Rancho Cucamonga that would be 845,000 square feet.
Master Development is on schedule to start construction in March, Bryan Bentrott, a vice president with the company, said Monday.
Western Realco is developing its project for Principal Capital Management of Des Moines. It is being designed by Bastien & Associates Inc. of Tustin, with Oltmans Construction Co. of Whittier as the general contractor.
Assuming they are built as planned, the Western Realco and Master Development buildings will be the last in a string of speculative large industrial projects to rise in the Inland Empire in recent years.
Speculative developments are those built without having signed up tenants ahead of time, in contrast to projects that are built to suit their owners or for which tenants have been confirmed in advance. The Inland Empire has at least one build-to-suit structure that is larger than any of its speculative developments, according to industry sources, as well as several speculative and build-to-suit projects in the range of 700,000 to 800,000 square feet.
Riverside and San Bernardino counties have become the locations of choice for the huge warehouses because land is more plentiful there and less expensive than it is in the more developed portions of Los Angeles County.