MORENO VALLEY, CA-Retailer Ross Stores Inc. has acquired the 686,000-sf Eastgate Business Center distribution building from Industrial Developments International for $38.2 million and plans to expand the facility to 1.4 million sf, according to CB Richard Ellis. The operator of the Ross Dress For Less stores will develop the expansion on 28 acres of land adjacent to the site at 17800 Perris Blvd. that Pleasanton-based Ross acquired as part of the deal.Ian DeVries and Kevin McKenna headed a team based in CBRE’s Ontario office that represented Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International. The other CBRE team members included Jason Krotts, Alan Buchanan and Grant Ross. The new Ross Stores facility will complement a current distribution center of 1million sf that the retailer operates in Perris, approximately one half mile south of the Eastgate site.The Eastgate Business Center was the first speculative industrial development in the Moreno Valley and Perris industrial market and is one of the largest buildings recently constructed in the Inland Empire, notes McKenna. He says that when construction began in June 2004, it was thought by many to be “very risky based on the lack of user interest in this submarket and economic conditions surrounding the market.” Now, however, “The Moreno Valley and Perris industrial market is positioned for continued growth over the next few years,” according to DeVries. He says that due to the lack of developable land in other submarkets, “Perris and Moreno Valley have now become a viable option for users and investors.” Over the past 12 months brokers say they have seen activity pick up with more user interest, calculating that in the last 36 months, more than 2,000 acres of land, not including Meridian Business Center, has either been purchased or is in escrow to developers, user or investors. By the end of 2005 there will be a number of projects under construction in the market.”About three years ago Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ross Stores and Walgreen’s came to the area and built facilities, which put the area on the map,” DeVries says. Now more developers and investors are starting to acquire land. The landscape of this area will look very different 12 months from now.”In February, IDI purchased 82 acres of vacant land one half mile south of Eastgate Business Center where it is planning to develop a business park. The CB Richard Ellis team of McKenna, DeVries, Krotts, Buchanan and Ross represent IDI on the new business park project as well.

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