At the 1,600-acre Wonderful Industrial Park in Shafter, Calif., Wonderful Real Estate Development continues to lease up facilities practically as soon as it builds them, and the newly completed speculative property at 3800 Fanucchi Way is no exception. Wonderful has recently signed a Fortune 500 American food manufacturer to occupy the entire 1 million-square-foot warehouse in Central California.
Wonderful broke ground on 3800 Fanucchi in the first quarter of 2021 and delivered the project during the second quarter of 2022. “We were not surprised by how quickly we were able to lease the building, as we had been fielding inquires of interest since first announcing development of the building,” Erin Poulson Morris, senior director of Business Development & Marketing with Wonderful Real Estate Development, told Commercial Property Executive. “With this being our third million-square-foot spec in the last three years, we have been on the radar as an ideal place to find real estate of this size.”
WIP is widely considered to be the premier logistics and distribution park in the Western U.S. and presently encompasses more than 10 million square feet of completed facilities. The park is located within close proximity to Interstate 5 and boasts both direct rail access and a FedEx Ground hub on site. 3800 Fanucchi occupies a 70-acre site within WIP and offers highly coveted amenities found in state-of-the-art industrial space, including 40 feet of clear height, 215-dock high doors, an ESFR sprinkler system and parking expandable to 1,000 for trailers and additional parking expandable to 1,000 for employees.
READ ALSO: The Benefits of Multi-Tenant Industrial Real Estate
The new tenant at 3800 Fanucchi will count Amazon among its many high-profile neighbors at WIP. The e-commerce giant inked a 1 million-square-foot lease with Wonderful in March 2021 to occupy the entire building at 4500 Express Ave. WIP is also home to Ross Stores, which occupies more than 3 million square feet at the park, as well as Target, which has 2 million square feet. Walmart is also a tenant at WIP, where it occupies 630,000 square feet.
“Factors driving demand at Wonderful Industrial Park are that our park is fully entitled for about 25 million square feet, which is virtually impossible to find anywhere else in California, especially within proximity to the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach,” Morris said. “This allows us to be very flexible in our developments and our lots can accommodate very large buildings while still providing ample yard space for trailer/container storage and employee parking.”
Sited near Bakersfield in Kern County, roughly 100 miles north of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, WIP is positioned to provide Class A accommodations to users who are unable to secure suitable space farther south. In the second quarter of 2022, the Inland Empire continued to record historically tight conditions, with availability dropping to a record low of just 1.1 percent, according to a report by Colliers. The vacancy rate was a staggeringly low 0.5 percent and the average asking rent soared to a record-high of $1.54 NNN, marking a 21 percent quarter-over-quarter increase and a 79 percent year-over-year increase.
“The lack of availability and extreme pricing of the Inland Empire and Southern California industrial markets is also pushing tenants to look to secondary markets for space,” Morris noted. “And when they discover a full-service logistics park like Wonderful Industrial Park, they really start to see the advantages of being outside of primary overcrowded markets. At WIP you can find not only the building but also a sophisticated manager that assists with labor, development and transportation needs all under one roof.”
Kern County, in general, has become a veritable logistics hub, with the advanced manufacturing industry having mushroomed over the last 10 years as a host of major companies—including the likes of FritoLay, Bolthouse Farms, American Tire Distributors, IKEA and Famous Footwear—set up shop in the area. And Kern County offers industrial users additional advantages. “Our market has a very strong labor pool and many of our tenants experience low turnover and are able to ramp up quickly during seasonal periods,” Morris added.
At WIP, Wonderful will continue to add new industrial offerings to the Central California industrial market. The company plans to complete the construction of a 300,000-square-foot building by the end of 2022 and will develop a 415,000-square-foot facility and an additional 1 million-square-foot building by the end of 2023.