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Ontario to get a huge warehouse

November 18, 2009|Roger Vincent

Construction is set to begin in December on an enormous new warehouse in Ontario, a developer said Tuesday, a rare occurrence since the economic crash snuffed out the Inland Empire's industrial development boom.

Landlord and developer ProLogis declined to say who would occupy the 667,000-square-foot distribution facility when it is completed next fall, but city planning documents reveal the occupant to be Home Depot Inc., one of the world's largest home improvement specialty retailers.

The structure will rise in Crossroads Business Park near the intersection of interstates 10 and 15.

Home Depot representative Kathryn Gallagher said she couldn't confirm that the company would be a tenant at Crossroads but said Home Depot was rolling out a series of new "rapid distribution centers" in California to speed delivery of products to more than 500 retail stores in 13 Western states.

The Home Depot warehouse could be valued at more than $50 million based on other Inland Empire industrial real estate prices. It is the first development in the United States for ProLogis since the third quarter of 2008, said Larry Harmsen, the company's president for North America.

Other industrial developments are in the works, Harmsen said. "Activity has picked up over the course of this year."

Denver-based ProLogis has about 45 million square feet of warehouse distribution space in Southern California that it rents to companies including American Honda Motor Co. and FedEx Corp. In Ontario, Home Depot would be next to buildings occupied by Gillette and Oakley Inc.

Development has been greatly reduced in Ontario since the recession kicked in, City Manager Gregory Devereaux said.

"This is exciting news," he said. "Anything being built in this kind of cycle is good, especially something of this size with a major user."

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

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