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March 02, 2017

DCT happy to get big site in Tacoma for developing Blair Logistics Center

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

Benjamin Minnick

DCT Industrial of Denver made news late last year when it bought 53 acres at the Port of Tacoma to develop about 1 million square feet of industrial space in a complex called DCT Blair Logistics Center.

The former storage container yard will have two buildings - one at 543,625 square feet and the other at 428,228 square feet - as well as 5.88 acres for yard storage.

Patrick Gemma, DCT senior vice president in charge of the local market, said the firm already has Lloyd Enterprises moving dirt for the larger building.

Gemma said it's hard to get 50-acre sites in the area, and getting a fee-simple parcel in the port is extremely rare.

"We really like the location," he said. "We consider it an extension of the Fife market, which is pretty much out of land."

Another plus? The site is on a heavy-haul corridor with good access to Interstate 5, so it can be marketed to more industrial users, he said.

The site at 2600 Taylor Way will be developed in two phases, with construction of the second building starting after the first building is leased. Gemma said the initial building could start in the spring and finish late this year, and the second could start some time in 2018. Five existing buildings totaling less than 50,000 square feet will be removed to make way for construction.

DCT will use a general contractor from a group of four or five it has used in the past. Gemma said they have not picked one yet and may use different firms for each building.

Although Gemma would not name any of the general contractors, DCT used Sierra Construction Co. and Poe Construction on its White River Corporate Center in Sumner.

The consultant team for Blair Logistics Center consists of Craft Architects (designer), Barghausen Consulting Engineers (civil) and Transportation Engineering NorthWest (traffic).

Gemma said he heard about the land from Todd Clarke of Kidder Mathews, who represented the seller, SSA Marine, on the deal. The Kidder team of Clarke, his son Ty Clarke, and Matt Wood are now in charge of leasing the space for DCT.

Gemma said they haven't set rates yet and don't have any leases, but have been talking with several interested parties. He said the space is good for general light-industrial type tenants, with 36-foot clear heights and 7-inch deck slabs.

Gemma helped DCT open its Seattle office in December 2012. At that time, the company owned about 1.5 million square feet of industrial space through prior acquisitions. Gemma said they now have more than 4 million square feet of industrial space through acquisitions and new development, and that portfolio is 98 percent leased.

DCT's first ground-up project in the Northwest was the 60-acre White River Corporate Center. Gemma said they bought the land in 2012 and finished the park's third building in late 2016. The first two buildings - 650,000 square feet and 60,000 square feet - are fully leased. The third building, at 250,000 square feet, has "strong interest," according to Gemma.

"We had very strong demand with pretty much every development we've done in Seattle over the past four years," he said.

Gemma said DCT has a couple other land sites under contract in the greater Kent Valley area, but didn't provide more details.

Prior to joining DCT, Gemma spent 10 years at Panattoni Development Co., where he was senior development manager.

© 2017 Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. All rights reserved.

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