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SAN BERNARDINO, CA-Construction is under way on a $36 million, 1.2 million-sf regional distribution center for Mattel Inc. on the site of the former Norton Air Force Base being redeveloped by Hillwood Investment Properties, according to Oltmans Construction Co., contractor for the job.

Dan Wozniak, project manager for Whittier, CA-based Oltmans, reports that the new Mattel distribution center is being built on a 60-acre site at Tippecanoe Avenue and Harry Sheppard Street. The facility is due to be completed in April, Wozniak says.

One of the largest buildings of its kind ever built in the Inland Empire at one time, the Mattel facility is a concrete tilt-up structure that will feature 30-foot minimum interior clearance, dock-high loading, and an ESFR sprinkler system.

Project architect is Hill Pinckert Architects (HPA) of Newport Beach.

Hillwood is redeveloping the former Norton base into an industrial complex that will ultimately comprise between 7 million and 10 million sf of space and is known as AllianceCalifornia. John Magness, a local VP for Texas-based Hillwood, tells GlobeSt.com that much work has already been completed to prepare the construction site for the new Mattel facility. For example, new water lines have been installed and old underground utilities at the former air base have been removed to get the 60-acre site ready to go. Other improvements going on at the base include street widenings, traffic signals and other work, some related to the Mattel project and others being completed as part of the general infrastructure improvements for the redevelopment of the former Norton base. The redevelopment of the base also includes the razing of antiquated Air Force buildings.

Hillwood is the master developer of the 2,200-acre former air base under an agreement with the Inland Valley Development Agency, an umbrella group of local jurisdictions that controls the former military site.

AllianceCalifornia is planned as a transportation and logistics hub of up to 2,200-acres. Besides the Mattel facility, it already includes a 652,000-sf Kohl’s Department Store warehouse where the Menomonee Falls, Wisc.- based retailer maintains goods for its 30-plus stores in Southern California. The AllianceCalifornia project is modeled after Hillwood’s AllianceTexas, a 15,000-acre development near Dallas that is home to 110 companies employing more than 20,000 workers.

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