The Alter Group is planning to develop 1.35 million sq. ft. of spec distribution space in California's booming Inland Empire region. The two centers will be built in Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga — two of the fastest-growing areas east of Los Angeles — and will be completed by January 2005.

“We've wanted to be in California for some time,” says Michael Alter, president of the Chicago-based Alter Group. “These two investments put us immediately on the radar screen in the nation's strongest industrial market. We will look to build on our entry into California with additional industrial and office development investments.”

According to Alter, the location is ideal for many reasons. Both Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga are major distribution hubs, and the region is located near the major Pacific ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The region also has benefited in recent years from strong job growth, and the labor pool is only expected to grow in the near term.

The initial project in Fontana consists of a 528,320 sq. ft. warehouse distribution center built on roughly 26 acres of land. The double-loaded structure will have four grade-level drive-in doors, plus high-bay racking systems.

The 830,000 sq. ft. Rancho Cucamonga facility will be built on 39 acres of land. The Haven Distribution Center, as it will be known, will have 136 truck docks and four ramped drive-in doors.