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(Read more on the industrial market.)

FONTANA, CA-Major national tenants and Southern California firms have committed to well over $70 million in five leases and a sale totaling nearly 2.5 million sf of industrial space here and in other Inland Empire locales. The largest of the deals is a $37.8 million lease for 753,170 sf by Lifetime Brands at the Sierra Gateway Business Park here.

The 10-year Lifetime Brands deal is the the largest industrial lease of 2007 to date in the Inland Empire, according to CB Richard Ellis. Lifetime, which is a designer and developer of a broad range of consumer products, was represented by Walt Chenoweth, Frank Geraci and Dan De la Paz of CBRE.

Chenoweth, who focuses on the representation of large industrial users, observes that “more tenants than anticipated” are choosing to renew in the western part of the Inland Empire because they are finding that the cost of moving, coupled with the additional costs of transportation, negates the rental savings that would be realized in a move to less expensive space. “The market anticipated that companies would move east to capitalize on the difference in rent, but what we’re actually seeing is that the delta is not large enough to compel companies to make the move,” Chenoweth explains.

The Lifetime building, which features 112 loading docks, is at 10826 Production Ave. The company is consolidating its warehouse and distribution center operations from multiple locations in the Ontario airport area.

The other four leases included deals for 404,500 by New Breed Logistics, 403,956 sf by Kia, 325,704 sf by Evenflo and 249,283 sf by Electrolux. The sale was a parcel of nearly 15 acres where Gardena-based Overton Moore Properties plans to build 315,000 sf of industrial space in two buildings.

New Breed extended its lease at 5200 E. Airport Dr. in Ontario for seven years in a transaction valued at $11.6 million, while Kia signed for its space at 15001 Meridian Parkway at the Meridian Business Park in Riverside for an undisclosed consideration.

Evenflo renewed its lease for five years at 5500 E. Francis St. in Ontario in a $7.6 million deal, while Electrolux renewed for six years at 701 Malaga Place in Ontario in a $6.3 million lease. The landlord for both buildings is Prologis California LLC.

Chenoweth, Geraci and De la Paz, represented Evenflo, Electrolux and New Breed in their Ontario lease renewals and also represented landlord LNR Property Corp. in the Kia lease.

Overton Moore bought its development site, which is at 145 S. Larch Ave. in Rialto, from Riverside-based Fleetwood Travel Trailers for $6.8 million. OMP is planning on constructing two buildings of 72,000 sf and 240,000 sf, with construction expected to begin in late 2007 and be completed in the third quarter of 2008.

Geraci, Chenoweth, De la Paz and Juan Gutierrez represented Overton Moore in the transaction. The buildings will be offered for sale or lease and are designed for both manufacturing and warehouse uses.

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