Nikki Garret Metzger
(Victorville)– The complex that was formerly George Air Force Base has grown and changed, and is now Global Access Victorville – an 8,500-acre multimodal freight transportation hub supported by air, ground and rail connections
“Stirling has been working to re-develop the base for about 10 years now,” said Brian Parno, chief operating officer of Stirling Development, the managing partner of Stirling Capital Investments. “About 5 years ago we earmarked $300 million to build vertical buildings at the site. To date we’ve invested about $100 million and completed about three million square feet, including the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group building and five buildings that we’ve built ourselves.”
“Our role in our master development agreement with the City is to provide the City with jobs and tax base for the area, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” continued Parno. “The deal we just put together with United Furniture Industries is a large deal in terms of jobs. They anticipate hiring about 400 people in about 48 months – that’s a huge generator for the region.”
Stirling Capital Investments has secured a lease with United Furniture Industries (UFI), a manufacturer of furniture that is sold primarily under the Simmons brand name. UFI will occupy a 505,192-square-foot industrial facility at SCLC in November 2011. The firm plans to immediately hire 100 people and grow to approximately 400 employees within the next 36 to 48 months.
Global Access Victorville is comprised of Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA), a 2,500-acre air cargo and aviation facility; Southern California Logistics Centre (SCLC), a 2,500-acre commercial and industrial complex entitled for 60 million square feet of development; and Southern California Rail Complex (SCRC), a planned 3,500-acre intermodal and multimodal complex entailing rail-served facilities.
Parno explained that the development has 2 sections – the on-airport section and the off-airport section. The on-airport section includes companies like GE Aircraft Engines, Pratt Whitney, Boeing, FedEx, and Leading Edge. The off-airport section contains Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Plastipak, Rubbermaid, United Furniture Industries, Pacific Aviation Group in 50,000 square feet, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the multi-tenant park, Sparkletts water in a multi-tenant building, Red Bull, Southern California Aviation in about 55,000 square feet, and Excelle Scientific.
“We believe the success that we’ve had recently, including the UFI announcement, is largely due to the risk we took in investing dollars before we had a tenant signed,” said Parno.
The 1 million-square-foot building that UFI will occupy was built in 2009 in a strategic move to attract businesses like UFI that need space more quickly than the ground-up development process.
“We had the building standing there for almost 2 years, empty, at our expense. I don’t think those tenants would be in the High Desert today if we did not make that investment,” added Parno.
“People do not really realize that the buildings that have been put up there have been built with private money, our money,” said Parno. “There’s a misconception that the City is putting up this money and that’s not true. Our risk, our funds, but the benefits in terms of jobs and tax income go to the City.”
For more information on Global Access and SCLA, visit www.globalaccessvictorville.com.