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January 6, 2022 11:45 AM, EST

Developer Plans 1 Million-Square-Foot Warehouse in Ontario, Calif.

Developer Plans 1 Million-Square-Foot Warehouse in Ontario, Calif.Amazon Air cargo planes lined up at Ontario International Airport. (Ontario International Airport)

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A national developer recently purchased one of the largest empty lots in Ontario, Calif., with plans to build a 1 million-square-foot logistics center that would be among the largest warehouses in the city.

Dermody Properties announced last month it bought 54.4 acres of land in the Ontario Ranch area of the city, abutting the Southern California Edison Mira Loma Substation, said Scott Murphy, executive director of community development for the city of Ontario.

The real estate/development company said it will develop a 1,033,348-square-foot industrial warehouse on the site starting in late spring 2022 with completion expected sometime in 2023. It will be called the LogistiCenter at Ontario Ranch, according to a Dec. 14 announcement.

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“This site is one of the last remaining parcels of land in the Inland Empire West that is capable of supporting a building over one million square feet,” said Matt Mexia, partner in the Southern California offices of Dermody Properties, in a prepared statement. “Upon completion, we expect it to be one of just a few options available in the nation’s largest and most in-demand industrial market.”

Dermody also developed the LogistiCenter at Eastvale, a six-building warehouse project nearly 1.1 million square feet in space, one of the largest in the Inland Empire.

The Ontario Ranch project will feature 196 dock-high doors, 433 car parking stalls, 183 tractor-trailer parking stalls and 185-foot truck courts, the company said. It will be similar to the Eastvale site and has been given a similar name. The Ontario Ranch warehouse is valuable for goods movement because it is within a half-mile of the 15 Freeway and 1.8 miles from the 60 Freeway and only 4.4 miles from Ontario International Airport, a growing air cargo hub.

The site was originally dairy farm land and now sits mostly vacant, said Murphy. It was previously zoned as residential with mixed office/commercial but a few months ago, the City Council rezoned the area as light industrial, which accommodates a logistical warehouse use, Murphy said.

“For an individual development, 54 acres is a sizable acquisition,” Murphy said.

Dermody could develop up to a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse project, the maximum size under the new zone, Murphy said. No plans or permit applications have been submitted to City Hall, Murphy said Dec. 31.

He said the city has been in discussions with the new property owner.

“The timing is in their hands,” he added. “It is when they choose to submit the application and we will process it.”

If the developer submits plans this month, it will take at least six months before it goes before the Ontario Planning Commission for approval, Murphy said.

Dermody’s proposed LogistiCenter at Ontario Ranch would be one of several new warehouses that may be built this year or next in the Inland Empire, a sought-after region for new logistics warehouses because of its location to freeways and availability of open land.

The rush to build more warehouses to serve Amazon, Walmart and other online shopping companies has picked up during the coronavirus pandemic, as more people shopped online and air cargo volumes greatly increased at Ontario International Airport.

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