Developer eyes 200K sf warehouse in Port of Richmond

Chicago-based CA Industrial filed plans to replace aging warehouse in Terminal 3 with Class A facility

CA's Tom Scott with the Port of Richmond (CA Ventures, California Association of Port Authorities)
CA's Tom Scott with the Port of Richmond (CA Ventures, California Association of Port Authorities)

A developer has filed plans to redevelop an 80,000-square-foot warehouse in the Port of Richmond into a top-notch industrial facility more than twice its size.

CA Industrial, based in Chicago, has submitted a design review application with the City of Richmond to replace the underused warehouse at 1411 Harbour Way South at the port’s Terminal 3 with a 202,400-square-foot industrial building, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

CA Industrial, the industrial arm of investor and developer CA Ventures, also plans to improve the frontage of Harbour Way South and a public lookout area at the harbor. The property faces Harbor Channel, just north of the Richmond Ferry Terminal, on a peninsula housing Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park.

The East Bay city, which owns the property, in late 2020 entered a 26-year lease agreement for part of Terminal 3 with T3 Partners, composed of Orton Development, Bobby Winston and Tom Lockard.

The Richmond deal with T3 Partners provides for between $4.1 million and $10.1 million for the restoration of Terminal 3, built in the 1970s but now degraded.

The San Francisco Business Times said it wasn’t clear if T3 Partners had tapped CA Industrial to handle the upgrades to 1411 Harbour Way. Messages with the city of Richmond and to Orton were not immediately returned.

The Port of Richmond, built 40 years ago after the decommissioning of the Kaiser Shipyards, is now the main entry point for vehicles from Asia, and the number one port in San Francisco Bay for vehicles and bulk liquids such as petroleum. It’s also the third largest volume port in the state.

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In 2019, the Port of Richmond’s trade totaled $9.51 billion, including $2.01 billion in exports and $7.51 billion in imports. https://californiaports.org/ports/port-of-richmond/

CA Industrial said in a statement it was excited about the chance to turn Terminal 3 “into a working waterfront.”

“This long-underutilized City of Richmond port property is perfectly positioned for distribution or manufacturing use and will contribute to the social and economic growth of the surrounding area through job creation and revenue generation,” said William Lu, the company’s executive vice president, in the statement.

The warehouse project will require certain approvals from Richmond’s Planning Commission. CA Industrial did give a completion date for the project. About 1.3-acres of the Harbour Way South site is being used by Sause Bros., a marine transport company. The rest is vacant land.

CA Industrial intends to build the new warehouse, which could serve marine transport and other industrial uses, without a pre-signed tenant.

Richmond has asked the developer to give priority to tenants that will make use of the waterfront and dockage access. If no such tenant is found, the property can be leased for warehousing or distribution use.

New industrial facilities are in high demand in the East Bay, where demand for industrial square footage far outstrips supply. Vacant land eligible for industrial development is becoming increasingly harder to find, observers say, leading some developers to eye underutilized properties like 1411 Harbour Way South for redevelopment.

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