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CHINO, CA- Watson Land Company has kicked off construction of the 297,000-sf first building of its 1.3-million-sf Watson Commerce Center-Chino, one of the region’s first industrial developments to seek LEED certification. The building is scheduled to be completed in June and is the first of four buildings planned for the 60-acre, master-planned development at 6810 Bickmore Ave.

The development site spans the northwest and southwest corners of Euclid and Bickmore Avenues, close to the I-10, I-60 and I-91 freeways. Watson chose the location for its easy access to major area freeways and transportation centers, including the Ontario Airport.

Seeking LEED certification for the project “is a natural extension of our principles of responsible development,” says Bruce Choate, president and CEO of Watson Land Co. The LEED designation stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification granted by the US Green Building Council.

Watson Land Company’s LEED building program employs design elements, materials and functionality as well as construction procedures that are in line with the Green Building Council’s LEED guidelines, according to Choate. Some of the key features of Watson’s green building initiative include special storm water runoff and landscaping that collects water and allows it to filter naturally into the ground water, a building layout to reduce the amount of paved surface by maximizing open and landscaped space and the recycling of building materials.

Other facets of the Watson program include the use of products that emit lower levels of toxins into the air, HVAC systems that reduce air pollutants and carbon dioxide, windows and skylights that provide more natural light and automated light switching for more efficient use of light. “We will invest a little more but the benefits far outweigh the additional costs,” Choate says of the program.

Millie & Severson is the general contractor for the first building of the Watson Commerce Center-Chino, which is one of a number of Inland Empire projects that the Carson-based developer has completed or under way. It also plans to develop the Watson Commerce Center-Redlands, a 2.5 million-sf, 100-acre master-planned center, and recently completed the development of the 652,174-sf, 32-acre Watson Commerce Center-Fontana.

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