INLAND EMPIRE, CA-Prologis owns and manages approximately 32 million square feet in the Inland Empire, which represents the company’s single largest market on the globe. About 85% of the company’s Inland Empire portfolio is located in San Bernardino County with tenants such as Home Depot, Continental Tire, UnderArmor, and Walmart. Kim Snyder, president of the Southwest region of Prologis, managing a 62 million square foot divisional P&L that includes operations in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Southern California, recently chatted with Globest.com about what’s driving their development plans in the county, including speculative development, and why the global firm remains committed to the region.
GlobeSt.com: What are Prologis’ current plans for San Bernardino County?
Snyder: Our principal focus is high-quality logistics and distribution-oriented real estate facilities. Our properties feature higher clearance ESFR sprinklers and sustainable systems that lower operating costs while reducing our tenants’ carbon footprints.
Right now, we are actively developing both land and buildings across the region. We have 800,000 square feet under construction in Redlands. Over the next several months, we are also preparing to break ground on a 325,000-square-foot build-to-suit and two speculative projects–540,000 square feet and 593,000 square feet — in Redlands. We are also finalizing entitlements on other San Bernardino County projects in Ontario, Rialto and Colton.
GlobeSt.com: Overall, what makes the county a good location for investment/development?
Snyder: San Bernardino County has tremendous infrastructure, a reliable workforce, and a friendly business environment. These are key success factors for investment and development. It is a proven location for both business and investment over the last 30 years and companies want to locate here. This is why Prologis is so committed to the region.
GlobeSt.com: How important is a business-friendly attitude at the public agency level?
Snyder: First impressions are made at the counter. This can be either a positive, welcoming experience, or sadly, an instant impediment to recruit new companies, tenants and their employees to the community. The County of San Bernardino officials are pragmatic and business-friendly. The staff groups are well-trained and understand that they are often the front line of initial inquiry by new businesses.
GlobeSt.com: Can you describe what tenants are demanding in the industrial being built today?
Snyder: Today’s tenants demand buildings that are high quality, operationally-efficient, located in strategic areas, and sustainable. We strive to make our projects deliver on all of those. On the efficiency front, we design to LEED standards, incorporate drought-resistant landscaping, and outfit buildings with efficient lighting systems, such as T-5 and T-8. On the issue of location and building features, we deliver sites that are easily accessible to major roadways, with full circulation, security, and larger truck courts to minimize truck traffic impact on local communities.
GlobeSt.com: What is driving that?
Snyder: The logistics industry is very competitive. Tenants are striving to save money everywhere they can. Compared to labor and transportation, rent is a small component of a tenant’s total operating costs. However, when a logistics facility is safe, efficient and less expensive to operate, we enable our customers to be more competitive.
GlobeSt.com: What are the biggest trends shaping the future of industrial – especially for our region?
Snyder: Right now, e-commerce is surging and supply is struggling to meet demand. Not only are online retailers, such as Amazon, building facilities in California, but traditional brick and mortars are building secondary supply chains for online sales as well. Fulfillment centers are being designed and built as the retail industry embraces this growing component of their revenues.
GlobeSt.com: How important is LEED? Are California’s regulations tough to deal with? Are tenants demanding LEED space?
Snyder: We are strong proponents of LEED. In fact, Prologis is proud to be listed in the Global 100, the preeminent ranking of the world’s top 100 most sustainable companies. We are committed to develop all of our buildings to LEED standards. In addition, we have constructed over 10 million square feet of solar installations in the Inland Empire, and continue to seek ways to make our buildings less expensive to operate by designing means to save water, reduce electrical consumption, and minimize waste.