Industrial investor eyes redevelopment of self-driving car test track in Fremont

LA-based North Palisade Partners’ first deal in Bay Area

John Peterson and 300 Whitney Place, Fremont (North Palisade, Google Maps)
John Peterson and 300 Whitney Place, Fremont (North Palisade, Google Maps)

An industrial investment and development firm based in Los Angeles has entered the Bay Area market with the purchase of a self-driving vehicle test track about two miles from Tesla’s factory in Fremont.

The site is at 300 Whitney Place at the Warm Springs Business Park––a paved lot that is currently leased to and used as a test track for autonomous vehicles.

The seller has not been publicly disclosed, according to John Peterson, a partner at North Palisade Partners, which paid $8 million for the 2.24-acre property and has other uses in mind.

“This is North Palisade’s first industrial asset acquisition in Northern California,” he said. “This is a well-located and established parcel that was attractive to us because as a seasoned industrial developer we recognize it gives us the flexibility to position the property for yard or trailer storage with the ability to build a 42,000-square-foot Class A Industrial building.”

The buy comes with vacancy rates down and lease rates up for industrial space in the Bay Area.

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The high demand has been ongoing nationally since the pandemic gave a boost to e-commerce outfits that rely on extensive logistics operations in shipping goods, and prompted a recent deal for a significant portfolio of industrial property in San Francisco.

Vacancy rates in the East Bay dropped to 2.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, near the market’s historical low, according to a Colliers International’s, which worked on the sale of the Fremont site.

“Since this is one of only a few infill sites in Fremont available for development, we expect North Palisade will be well positioned to realize value should they elect to build a facility on the site,” said Ed Hofer, an executive vice president at Colliers.

North Palisade has acquired 16 industrial and self-storage assets representing over $500 million of total value since it launched in 2018. Before this acquisition, all of its properties were located in core Southern California markets such as Anaheim and San Diego.

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