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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA-Centra Realty Corp. of Irvine has acquired 18.75 acres for $20 million in preparation for a 241,000-sf R&D project called Ventanas Business Center, according to Grubb & Ellis. The development site for the project, which will be the first new industrial R&D space built in the city in years, is adjacent to the Interstate 5 Freeway and Calle Arroyo.

Keith Ross, principal of Centra Realty Corp., comments that, “there has been virtually no new industrial/R&D product built in San Juan Capistrano in the last decade,” despite growing demand. The vacancy rate for such space is below 2%, Ross notes.

According to Scott Johnstone and Greg Puccinelli of the Newport Beach office of Grubb & Ellis, who represented both the buyer and the seller, the land that Centra acquired is the last parcel available for development in San Juan Capistrano with freeway frontage. Centra bought the land from Buie Stoddard Properties of Laguna Niguel.

Johnstone and Puccinelli have also landed the marketing assignment for the project, which is anticipated to break ground a year from now. It will feature 12 industrial/flex buildings for sale with units ranging from 2,600 sf to 26,250 sf.

Puccinelli tells GlobeSt.com that the development site, which is raw land, was part of a larger parcel and attracted “lots of offers” when it went on the market. “We had a number of very strong offers,” from a number of buyers, both local and national, he says.

The reason that no new industrial projects have been built in many years in San Juan Capistrano has been primarily for lack of land, Puccinelli says. It’s possible that construction might begin in less than a year, he says, depending on how long it takes for the developer to obtain site plan approval from the city.

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