(Read more on the industrial market.)

ONTARIO, CA-Sares-Regis Group of Irvine has sold 99 acres of industrial property about two blocks from Ontario International Airport to Denver-based ProLogis for $96 million. The property is one of the last master-planned distribution sites in the city, where tens of millions of square feet of distribution space have been built in the past dozen years and land for new projects has all but disappeared.

Sares-Regis bought the land from the County of San Bernardino at auction in May 2006. ProLogis, a publicly traded REIT and one of the nation’s largest owners and operators of industrial facilities, plans to develop approximately two million sf of warehouse and distribution buildings on the site.

The new space that ProLogis will develop on the land will expand the REIT’s already huge portfolio in the Inland Empire, where its holdings have grown to more than 27 million sf. ProLogis execs, in interviews with GlobeSt.com, have said that they consider the Inland Empire distribution market to be unrivaled by any other in the country.

Both Sares-Regis and ProLogis were represented in the Ontario land purchase by Darla Longo at CBRE’s Ontario office and Joe McKay at Lee & Associates’ Ontario office. Vice president Larry Lukanish of Sares-Regis Group’s commercial investment division, who oversaw the disposition of the asset, notes that Ontario’s industrial market remains one of the healthiest in the country.

The latest market statistics from CB Richard Ellis show that the Inland Empire industrial market continued to grow in the third quarter, adding 3.7 million sf to reach a base inventory of nearly 351 million sf of space, with a vacancy rate of slightly more than 4% and an overall availability rate of just under 8%. The average asking rate for all building sizes in the Inland Empire increased from 43 cents per sf in the second quarter to 45 cents in the third.

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