New logistics development could be first in Bakersfield

Kern’s logistics boom is reaching into the city of Bakersfield with an industrial park proposed at the southwest corner of Mount Vernon Avenue and East Belle Terrace. With two of three buildings measuring more than 1 million square feet, the project is being marketed as having convenient access to a large workforce — and in that respect, at least, it may beat larger competitors in Shafter and the Mettler area.

“I would say that’s what makes this project advantageous,” said Director Scott Reynolds at Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the property on behalf of an owner-developer partnership in Southern California. “It’s surrounded by working population.”

Named 58 Logistics Center because of its close access to Highway 58, the project may be the first of its kind located within Bakersfield’s borders. A similar project is underway near Meadows Field Airport, but it lies within unincorporated Kern County territory in Oildale. The 128-acre property is modest in size, compared with other, much larger logistics centers along 7th Standard Road in Shafter and Interstate 5 in the Mettler area. Another distinction is that the project is strictly build-to-suit, whereas others recently have moved forward with speculative construction — successfully — even before signing tenants.

Since kicking off marketing of the property a few months ago, Reynolds said brokers on the project have received “a lot of interest” from potential tenants, even as no leases have been signed. He noted distribution centers that otherwise would have been located in the Inland Empire have begun coming instead to Kern County, where prices are roughly half what’s being charged for industrial property in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The broker who assisted in the property’s November 2021 sale to its current owners, Jack Lees, said he received a lot of calls from potential buyers who wanted to “set up truck depots and that sort of stuff.” He called it a good location for such operations.

“That should be a good project for somebody,” he said.

Bakersfield City Councilman Eric Arias, whose Ward 1 encompasses the project, did not respond to a request for comment Monday. A marketing brochure put out Monday says the largest of three buildings proposed at the site would measure 1.1 million square feet and have 196 dock doors, 590 trailer stalls, parking for 510 automobiles and 40-foot clearance height.

Another building planned for the property would measure a little more than 1 million square feet, with 182 dock doors, 430 trailer stalls, 394 spaces for automobiles and 40-foot clearance, according to the brochure.

The third building, at 128,000 square feet at the property’s northeast corner, is planned to have 16 dock doors, 22 trailer stalls, 130 auto parking spaces and 36-foot clearance height. The entire property is zoned for general manufacturing and general industrial uses.

Cushman & Wakefield’s brochure points out the same kind of assets industrial properties have touted for years: convenient access to major transportation corridors and railroads, four hours from the Bay Area and the Mexican border, a “business friendly” permitting environment and relatively low taxes and labor costs. “58 Logistics Center,” the brochure states, “gives fulfillment (distribution and logistics) businesses efficient access to more consumers and end users than any other site in Southern California.”

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