Rexford goes from ethnic niche to generic industrial development in South Bay

Firm to put up new building with aim basic appeal to wide range of prospective tenants

Rexford Industrial’s Co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Frankel and the Western Ave property (Rexford, Highland Partners)
Rexford Industrial’s Co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Frankel and the Western Ave property (Rexford, Highland Partners)

Rexford Industrial is planning to build an 80,000-square-foot warehouse at the former Mitsuwa Marketplace location in Torrance, the firm told The Real Deal.

The company, a public REIT that is focused on industrial properties in Southern California, bought the property, at 21515 Western Avenue, for $18.95 million. The firm closed on the acquisition on October 12, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The planned one-story warehouse will replace a two-story, 56,199-square-foot retail property.

According to Patrick Schlehuber, Rexford’s executive vice president for investments, the property was leased in escrow to a short-term tenant. The firm has no long-term tenant lined up for the building, and is looking to construct a warehouse that would appeal to a wide range of industrial tenants.

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“Our goal is to create a fairly generic building” with that goal in mind, Schlehuber said.

Rexford had a busy stretch of leasing and acquisition during the third quarter. According to its latest quarterly report, the firm closed 1.8 million square feet of leasing activity during the period. Rexford also acquired 13 properties that combine for about 2 million square feet of building space and 140 acres of outdoor storage sites. The acquisitions come to a total aggregate price of $880.5 million. One of its biggest deals during the quarter was for an 80-acre industrial storage site at 2500 East Victoria Street in Rancho Dominguez. The property changed hands in a $217 million deal.

The Torrance property is Its latest acquisition, located on a through-lot with frontage on both Western and Mullin avenues. The site previously housed the Torrance branch of Japanese grocery and food hall chain Mitsuwa Marketplace. The grocer has since moved its Torrance location to Simon Property’s Del Amo Fashion Center at 3525 West Carson Street.

Schlehuber declined to provide an estimate on construction cost for the project. The planned property is expected to be completed sometime in 2023.