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SAN BERNARDINO, CA-Opus West Corp. has started construction of an 85,000-sf office building on behalf of Rancon Realty Fund IV at the Tri-City Corporate Centre, an existing business park in San Bernardino, Calif.

Opus is responsible for both design and construction, which it is performing via its own architectural and contracting divisions, according to Paul Marshall, senior vice president for real estate development at Opus, which also builds projects for its own account.

Tri-City is a 153-acre office park and retail development along the I-10 Freeway at Waterman Avenue that includes both office and retail space. Marshall tells GlobeSt.com that construction is expected to be finished in the second quarter of 2003. He says the project is on a vacant parcel that is part of the master-planned park and adjacent to existing office buildings owned by Rancon, which developed the property. Tenants at Tri-City include CompUSA, ITT Educational Services, PetsMart, Office Max and Circuit City.

The Tri-City property is in the San Bernardino submarket of the 16 million-sf Inland Empire office market, which has been bucking local and national trends by remaining relatively tight despite the economic downturn. According to the latest report by CB Richard Ellis, vacancy rates declined and lease rates increased in the market for the first half of this year, with the vacancy rate dipping to a seven-year low of 10.6%.

Marshall tells GlobeSt.com the Tri-City project is one of a number that Opus has either completed or under way as design-and-build contracts in Southern California. The firm recently finished a 130,000- sf office building and parking structure in Brea, Calif., for Lend Lease Real Estate and has three retail stores under construction for Kohl’s, a Midwestern department store chain that has announced an expansion into Southern California with the opening of several dozen stores here next year.

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