One of the country’s biggest logistics companies will take nearly half the square footage of a massive spec industrial project that’s rising in the heart of the Inland Empire.
Uline signed a lease deal for 1.2 million square feet at the Ontario Ranch Logistics Center in Ontario, a complex that when completed will total 2.6 million square feet across six buildings, according to REBusiness Online. The company plans to consolidate its Inland Empire footprint in the new development.
REDA and Clarion Partners started construction on the building that Uline will occupy in January and plans to complete it by early fall of 2021. The partners have completed one building in the complex so far that’s now occupied by sanitary products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark.
Wisconsin-based Uline, founded by powerful conservative donors Liz and Dick Uihlein, sells shipping and warehousing materials and equipment, both key for the logistics industry. That could help insulate the company during the coronavirus-related economic downtown. At the end of 2019, the company had 6,700 employees and $5.8 billion in annual revenues.
Ontario’s central location in the Inland Empire and its access to several highways make it a desirable location for logistics companies. Several major real estate players have invested in industrial properties there. Colony Capital owned at least one property there it put on the market as part of a larger portfolio sale last summer.
Residential developers have developed new projects marketed to prospective buyers and renters looking for affordability outside Los Angeles.
The Ontario Ranch neighborhood — not far from REDA and Clarion’s industrial complex — is the largest master-planned community in Southern California with developments owned by Lennar and Brookfield Residential, among others.
The coronavirus pandemic has dealt the Southern California industrial market its biggest blow in more than a decade. Inland Empire leasing in the first quarter was down nearly 50 percent year-over-year, although there was still positive net absorption of 7.9 million square feet. Absorption is likely to go down moving forward as leasing slows and deliveries continue. [REBusiness Online] — Dennis Lynch