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CITY OF COMMERCE, CA-Developer Western Realco of Newport Beach, CA has started construction of a 400,000-square-foot speculative industrial project here,citing the submarket’s low vacancy and strong demand as reasons to launch despite the uncertain economic conditions. The project, called Randolph Business Center, is under way on a 16-acre site at 5959 Randolph St., with Oltmans Construction Co. of Whittier, CA as the general contractor.

Gary Edwards, a principal of Western Realco, says that the firm anticipates a successful project despite the economy. He cites a 2.6% industrial vacancy rate in Commerce, pointing out that vacancy rates have historically remained low in the submarket and rents have held up while other Southland submarkets have suffered.

Edwards also cites the project’s location just south of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway near the Eastern Avenue exit of the Long Beach Freeway (710). He says the location is convenient for users seeking accessibility from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In addition, Edwards adds that the type of building Western Realco is developing, with 30-foot clearance and other modern features, “is unique in the Commerce submarket.”

Western Realco is marketing the project for sale or lease, with John McMillan and Jeff Sanita of Cushman & Wakefield’s Los Angeles office as the marketing agents. McMillan points out that, in the City of Commerce submarket, “The barriers for new big-box construction are substantial” because land is expensive and in short supply, and large parcels rarely become available. When completed, Randolph Business Center is expected to be the only class A industrial facility of its size available in the Central, South Bay, and Mid Counties submarkets, he adds.

James Wu, project manager for Oltmans, reports that the building’s slab is complete and walls are scheduled to be erected around Christmas. Project completion is scheduled for May. The project was designed by Bastien and Associates Inc. of Tustin, CA.

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