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RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, CA-First Industrial Realty Trust of Chicago has debuted its 141,000-sf First Gateway Logistics Center, a distribution and warehouse project that is designed to take advantage of a location near Southern California ports. The new development, part of an overall 120-million-sf First Industrial portfolio, is a redevelopment of a site that formerly was occupied by an obsolete 125,000-sf facility that First Industrial razed to make way for the new project.

The location of the new project along the Alameda Corridor near Santa Fe Avenue and Victoria Street is “close to the nation’s loading dock,” says Bob McIntyre, a senior broker with the Goodglick Co. and the property’s exclusive agent. The Goodglick Co. also represented First Industrial in the April 2006 purchase of the property, which provides access to the 405, 110, 710 and 91 freeways.

When it bought the site, First Industrial said that the new facility would be geared toward companies shipping goods into the South Bay from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The vacancy rate for the Rancho Dominguez industrial submarket has remained in the low single digits for some time, according to reports from a number of brokerage firms, who say that the continuing low vacancy indicates the ongoing demand for distribution and logistics facilities in an area where few sites are available for development.

The Gateway Logistics Center is part of a First Industrial Southern California portfolio that includes projects either under way or completed throughout the region, among them a 356,000-sf warehouse in Rancho Dominguez that the REIT is converting into a modern logistics facility. First Industrial also has plans for up to 3.3 million sf of development on a 205-acre site that it bought this year in Perris, in the Inland Empire.

The Perris project is called South Perris Distribution Center and is situated along the south Interstate-215 corridor. The company acquired the 205 acres through a development and repositioning joint venture, FirstCal 1, with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

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