A 350-acre industrial complex served by air, truck and rail transportation is taking off in Southern California. Construction will begin by the end of March on a 407,612 sq. ft. distribution center for Newell Rubbermaid, initiating Phase I of industrial development at the master-planned Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA).

The developer is Stirling Capital Investments, a joint venture between Stirling Enterprises, a Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based development company and Denver, Colo.-based DCT Industrial Trust Inc. (NYSE: DCT). Stirling Capital plans to invest $350 million to build 6.5 million sq. ft. of speculative warehouse and distribution buildings in Phase I of the industrial complex, which is part of the larger, 8,500-acre SCLA in the Inland Empire region.

Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid signed a 10-year lease for the distribution center, which will start construction by the end of March and is slated for completion in September. The company will operate its Graco unit, which manufactures infant and juvenile products, from its facility at SCLA.

“We selected Southern California Logistics Airport for our new distribution facility because of its strategic location near the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, direct access to Interstate 15, Highway 395 and key modes of transportation, attractive lease rates, available and qualified labor pool and the City of Victorville’s proactive business attitude and incentive programs,” says Art Garcia, director of real estate and property for Newell Rubbermaid. “It’s an ideal location for us because it supports our strategy to achieve best total cost in our supply chain.”

Planning has already begun for a 600,000 sq. ft. expansion for Newell Rubbermaid to be carried out in the next five years, according to Dougall Agan, principal with Stirling and master developer of SCLA.

“Global trade continues to increase, resulting in more goods moving into the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” Agan says. “With land running out in Los Angeles, SCLA is strategically positioned to serve companies’ diverse logistical needs by offering air, ground and rail connections and the ability to move business into national and international markets.”

The City of Victorville and Stirling have a public/private partnership agreement to redevelop the former George Air Force Base into SCLA, the largest fully-integrated commercial development in the region, which is anticipated to bring more than 30,000 jobs to the area. SCLA offers 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operations with onsite U.S. Customs. It has been designated a Foreign Trade Zone and a Local Agency Military Base Recovery Act Zone by the federal government. SCLA can accommodate all current-flying commercial and military aircraft.

CB Richard Ellis brokers Jay Dick, Darla Longo, Mark Latimer and Jeff Morgan represented Stirling Capital Investments in the lease transaction, which is valued at approximately $15 million. Chuck Belden, Suzanne Serino and Mike Fonda of Cushman & Wakefield represented Newell Rubbermaid.