(To read more on the industrial market, click here.)

ORANGE, CA-Guthrie Development Co. has kicked off construction of its Guthrie Orange Business Center with buyers lined up for 74% of the 86,000 sf at the five-acre industrial project. The company had entered escrow on 11 of the 15 buildings at the center shortly after it broke ground, according to Robert Guthrie, company president.

The project site, which formerly was a nursery, is near the intersection of Meats and Glassell avenues, close to the 57, 55, 22 and 5 freeways. The buildings will range from 4,400 sf to 7,650 sf.

Listing agents for the project are Mitch Zehner, Louis Tomaselli and Mike Boomer of the Anaheim office of Voit Commercial Brokerage. The project is slated for completion by the end of the third quarter.

The escrows at the Orange Business Center follow Guthrie’s recently completed sales of all of the buildings at its Mariner Commerce Park, a five-acre, 13-building master-planned business park in Brea. The Brea development, which features buildings ranging from 5330 sf to 10,960 sf, is at the northeast corner of Mariner Street and Arovista Circle.

Sales of the Guthrie buildings reflect the continued demand for industrial space both for sale and for lease in Orange County. The latest quarterly survey from Voit Commercial Brokerage, covering the fourth quarter of 2005, showed that the average asking selling price for industrial buildings was $129.17 per sf during the last quarter of the year, an increase of almost 16% over the past year.

Also during the fourth quarter, the average asking lease rate for industrial space in Orange County approached within a penny of the all-time high that was set in late 2000. The Voit report pegged the average asking leasing rate for industrial space in the county at 61 cents per sf per month, triple-net, at the end of the year.

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