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CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA-Rexford Industrial LLC of Los Angeles has converted an obsolete manufacturing facility into a 241,428-sf multi-tenant distribution project called Rexford Industry Center. The project sits on more than 11.5 acres at 15241-15277 and 15317-15339 Don Julian Rd. on property that Rexford acquired about five years ago.

When Rexford purchased the property in early 2002 through a bankruptcy sale, the site was occupied by an outmoded 147,370-sf manufacturing building. The Los Angeles-based investment and development firm then set about modernizing the existing space and adding 94,000 sf of multi-tenant distribution space on excess land that came with the deal. Both buildings now offer what Rexford calls “like-new, fully amenitized, class A spaces catering to midsize tenants.”

The new building is fully leased, and the repositioned older building was approximately 79% leased by about a month after Rexford completed the final phase of its renovations. Preleasing at the building included a 63-month lease of a 22,600-sf unit to Win-Jet, a local auto parts distributor, and a 37-month lease with Castline, a toy distributor. Overall, the new leases are locking in rents well in excess of rates projected at the time of acquisition, Rexford says.

According to Howard Schwimmer, a Rexford partner and its managing member, the project offered an opportunity to “add tremendous value to an under-utilized property.” The project was designed so that small distribution users can take advantage of two to three dock spots for units that range in size from 8,000 sf to 22,000 sf.

Rexford bought the Don Julian Road property through its Rexford Industrial Fund I, which was the first in a series of value-added industrial real estate investment funds. The L.A.-based firm operates more than five million sf of property valued at more than $600 million and is targeting the acquisition of more than $400 million of industrial properties, principally for its third and fourth funds.

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