An Australian real estate giant is joining forces with Irvine-based Birtcher Development & Investments as part of a $1.5-billion expansion into North America.
Goodman Group, Australia's biggest industrial real estate investment trust, said Wednesday that with Birtcher it will develop more than $700 million worth of industrial properties at four locations in the United States.
Two of the sites are in the Inland Empire, another is in Oakland and the fourth is near Philadelphia. Goodman didn't reveal the exact locations but said the $403-million warehouse and office developments in the Inland Empire are targeted for completion in 2015.
The four developments are to house nearly 10 million square feet of space, which is expected to be rented by companies in need of warehouse and distribution facilities near major trade hubs such as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Vacancies at Inland Empire industrial properties jumped in the late 2000s as international trade slowed in the economic downturn, but occupancy has improved in recent quarters as port activity picked up again.
Goodman said it is also in the final stages of forming a capital partnership with $800 million to invest in the acquisition or development of other industrial properties in the United States and Canada as part of its goal to become a worldwide player in the logistics business.
"With $19 billion of assets under management throughout Asia Pacific and Europe, our entry into North America is a logical step in the expansion of our operating platform to service our global customers and equity partners in the world's largest logistics and industrial market," Chief Executive Greg Goodman said.