KB Investment Development got the go-ahead this week to build two online distribution warehouses that combine for 600,000 square feet in the Inland Empire.
The Riverside City Council approved the Newport Beach-based developer’s plan to build the Sycamore Hills Distribution Center at Alessandro Boulevard and Barton Street in the neighborhood of Mission Grove, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. It also approved an environmental analysis for the project.
The 48.6-acre site sits on the southeast corner of the city’s 1,500-acre Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park.
One warehouse would cover 203,100 square feet, the other 400,000 square-feet.
KB Investment Development will build a parking lot with 52 spaces, a shade structure, seating and drinking fountains at the wilderness park trailhead, and preserve rock outcroppings, its president, Darrell Butler, said.
He added that a traffic signal to be installed at the project entrance at Vista Grande Drive and Alessandro Boulevard will provide a way for people who live south of Alessandro to safely drive out of their neighborhood
The project drew one nay vote and six approvals.
Riverside City Councilmember Clarissa Cervantes, whose ward includes the project site, voted no. She said the warehouses would generate hundreds of trips by trucks and cars each day, and “goes against what we are working to collectively achieve as a region and as a city” in fighting pollution and climate change.
“Almost every single resident I have spoken with has asked me not to support this project,” Cervantes said.
Other council members said zoning for the property permits logistics centers, and that KB Investment Development has followed all the development rules.
Councilmember Chuck Conder said that warehouses have become “part of our new society” because people have grown accustomed to ordering products online and having them delivered quickly.
He said there were few options for building at the proposed Alessandro site because it’s in an area vulnerable to airplane crashes from nearby March Air Reserve Base.
Unions representing construction supported the logistics warehouses project because it creates jobs.
It “has been in the pipeline for a very, very long time” and the developer has taken steps to improve it, said Cindy Roth, president and CEO of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.
Other warehouse deals have sprung up across the Inland Empire. In December, Lecangs agreed to lease a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse being built in Perris. A year earlier, New York-based Rockefeller Group purchased 30 acres there to build two more logistics centers spanning 623,000 square feet.
Late last year, a joint venture was set to develop nearly 200 acres of land at empty fields next to Ontario International Airport.