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STOCKTON, CA-Opus West Corp. has acquired 474 acres adjacent to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.’s rail intermodal terminal here with visions an 8.2 million-sf, extra-large format distribution center servicing the international logistics industry. Road and infrastructure work is slated to get underway later this year at the site, which fronts Arch Road east of Highway 99.

The Minneapolis-based developer’s Northern California SVP Don Little tells Globet.com the story behind the strategy is increased offshore manufacturing raising inbound container traffic at California ports that are largely at capacity and unable to accommodate the additional material handling. As a result, Little says the big players in the global logistics supply chain are seeking centrally located, consolidated distribution centers on rail lines away from the port for collection, handling and distribution by train and truck throughout the West and Midwest.

“They are looking for 1-, 2-, 3 million-sf facilities to handle high-volume in-bound container receipt,” Little says. “We’ve owned this land for only a week and without any kind of promotion or solicitation we’ve been approached by a handful of the best of the best with this kind of need, half of whom would be coming out of Southern California.”

Opus West acquired the land from Marvin Oates and Bruce Fite. Little declind to reveal the cost of the land, which he says has a small service road that will allow it to get started quickly but still lacks 75% of the necesary infrastructure. By way of speculative and build-to-suit projects, Opus expects to be built out in five- to seven years.

The development would represent a new chapter for Stockton, which is a big distribution center but also one dominated by smaller buildings catering to local and regional distribution needs. Little says the biggest existing buildings are in the 200,000-sf range. Moreover, he says a study of all the buildings planned and land parcels available for industrial development reveals that the 90% of the buildings that may be developed would have to be 600,000 sf or smaller.

The city is welcoming the plan. “Opus West is leading the path of progress in global trade industrial real estate and we strongly support their plans for the Opus Logistics Center, which will play a huge role in enhancing our economy and providing job opportunities to our community,” Stockton Mayor Edward J. Chavez says in a prepared statement.

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