Proposed Inland Empire logistics hub breaks ground on first development
After more than a decade of planning, business and government officials broke ground Thursday on the first part of a massive Inland Empire project that could turn a former military air base into a regional logistics hub.
Under development by Stirling Airports International and the Victorville city government, the proposed 8,500-acre Southern California Logistics Airport project would convert the former base into one of the largest combined rail, ground and air transportation centers on the West Coast. The complex is set to one day involve 65 million square feet of development and generate 13,000 jobs.
Thursday's groundbreaking of a nearly 408,000-square-foot distribution center for manufacturer Newell Rubbermaid is the first new structure to be built for the proposed facility. Rubbermaid's 10-year, $15-million lease for the property also provides an option to occupy up to 2 million square feet at the SCLA within five years.
The new facility will be a key facility for Rubbermaid, allowing it to consolidate its number of worldwide warehouses from 96 to 50.
Products manufactured by nearly two-dozen of the firm's divisions will funnel through the completed facility, streamlining the distribution of such name brands as Sharpie pens and Rolodex office products.
'Over 50 percent of all of our goods are shipped on a less-than-full truck,' Art Garcia, Newell Rubbermaid's director of Real Estate and Property, told the Daily Press.
'We'll never fill up the truck with pens,' he told the newspaper, pointing to the firm's position as the largest manufacturer of pens and pencils, such as Paper Mate, Waterman and Parker. 'That's too many pens.'
When completed in September, the new facility will employ close to 70 workers, with the potential of up to several hundred if the firm takes advantage of its expansion options.
The $6.3-billion Atlanta-based firm employs more than a 100 workers at a warehouse facility in nearby Hesperia.
Two additional projects at the SCLA will kick off within the month, including the construction of two multitenant buildings and a 296,000-square-foot distribution building.
A deal with BNSF Railway Co. to build a 3,500-acre rail yard at the SCLA is being negotiated.