The Rancho Cucamonga project is scheduled for completion in two phases in 2015.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA—Ceremonial shovels are going into the ground Wednesday for the groundbreaking on locally based Goodman Birtcher‘s first development project, Goodman Logistics Center Rancho Cucamonga. The Inland Empire facility marks the start of a $1.5-billion push into major US markets for the Irvine, CA-based company, established in 2012 as the American arm of Australian industrial powerhouse Goodman Group.

Since Goodman and Birtcher joined forces two years ago, the venture has built up a land bank for future development, including the 74.9 acres on which the Rancho Cucamonga project will sit. Along with Southern California, Goodman Birtcher is also targeting key industrial markets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Goodman Birtcher’s CEO, Brandon Birtcher, says the $150-million, 1.6-million-square-foot Rancho Cucamonga project will position the company “to take advantage of the significant demand for class A logistics and warehousing space in the key Inland Empire West market,” especially for big-box facilities of greater than 500,000 square feet. He adds that the new center offers the only distribution warehouse space of its size in the local market, along with a flexible design “capable of satisfying the requirements of a broad range of customer groups.”

The Rancho Cucamonga development will consist of two cross-docking facilities of approximately 556,000 square feet and 1.034 million square feet. They’re slated for completion in, respectively, March and May of next year. Land for the project was sourced by Lee & Associates Ontario’s William Heim, Eloy Covarrubias and Joseph Werdein, who will also serve as the listing brokers for the facility. In Southern Callifornia, Goodman Birtcher has also identified projects in Fontana, Eastvale, Compton and Santa Fe Springs.

Goodman Group CEO Greg Goodman counts himself pleased with the progress being made in the North American business. “Our focus over the past two years has been to assemble a high quality portfolio of class A sites in our target locations,” he says. “We are now ready to commence the rollout of a significant development program, at a time when key US investment demand drivers are recovering and the supply of high quality, big box warehouse space remains limited.”