Victorville, Calif., BNSF Railway to Explore Building Intermodal Facility
January 30, 2007
By Eugene Gilligan, Senior Editor
City officials from Victorville, Calif., and BNSF Railway Co. have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore developing an intermodal logistics facility there.
The two entities will explore building the facility at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorvile, located in Southern California's High Desert region east of Los Angeles.
The new intermodal facility is seen as a key piece in the development of the 3,500-acre Southern California Rail Complex at the airport. Plans for that site includes development of 20 million square feet of manufacturing and distribution uses. The airport is the former George Air Force Base, which closed in 1992. Estimated job losses from the base closing have ranged from 5,000 to 8,000.
The intermodal yard could mean an additional 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs for the High Desert area, said Bob Hunter, member of the City Council of Victorville. He notes that Rubbermaid is now building a 400,000 square foot distribution center that can be expanded to 1 million square feet and the area's retail inventory is growing.
The first rail spur should be completed in about two-and-a-half years, Hunter said, but warehouse development should begin before it is completed.
Land trading has increased, and prices have escalated, in the High Desert area, said Mark Zorn, principal at GVA Daum Commercial Real Estate. The addition of a logistics center at the Southern California Logistics Airport should add a "new facet" to the area's industrial market, Zorn said. Industrial absorption should occur first in the southern area of the Inland Empire, in cities such as Perris, Moreno Valley, and Redlands, Zorn said. But those looking for build-to-suit options should find ample opportunities in the High Desert, Zorn said, since land is still less expensive than the Inland Empire. Access to rail at the Southern California Logistics Airport should also be a selling point, he said.