A Newport Beach, CA-based commercial real estate developer and investor is betting big on the demand for large, new Class A industrial buildings in Tier 1 markets following news CT Realty has acquired 558 acres in Northern California and greater Atlanta for the development of approximately 7.9 million square feet of speculative industrial space.

Roughly 85 miles east of San Francisco in Stockton, CA, CT purchased 345 acres within the master-planned NorCal Logistics Center where the company plans to break ground this month on an ambitious 4.4 million-square-foot industrial development that will include the largest single speculative building to be developed in Northern California.

The first phase of the $135 million project will total 1.7 million square feet of high-clearance distribution, e-commerce/logistics and advanced manufacturing space located in three buildings that will measure 186,944 square feet, 388,183 square feet and 1,122,341 square feet.

CT Realty will partner with Diamond Realty Investments (DRI) in the venture. The U.S. real estate investment arm of Japan-based Mitsubishi Corp., DRI and CT Realty currently have nearly four million square feet under construction and an additional 10 million square feet in the venture’s development pipeline.

Ware Malcomb has been named project designer, while Cal Bank & Trust and Fifth Third Bank will provide construction financing.

“We view this as a long-term development opportunity to assemble a world-class logistics campus in one of the strongest markets in America,” said Carter Ewing, managing partner of CT Realty. “The dynamics of California’s Central Valley region, with an industrial base of more than 185 million square feet, mirror the favorable activity we have encountered over the last three years in Southern California and other major distribution markets in Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago.”

Home to General Mills, Fresh & Easy and Fox Head, the NorCal Logistics Center is located near the BNSF Railway and Mariposa Yard intermodal facilities as well as to SR-99, I-5, I-205 and I-580 in California’s Central Valley industrial market. Build-to-suit developments ranging in size from 100,000 square feet to more than 1.9 million square feet are currently available within the park.

“The evolution of modern logistics infrastructure, including inland ports, sea ports and commercial rail systems, has changed the dynamics of how containerized cargo is distributed nationwide and throughout the world,” added Ewing. “Investing in buildings that are strategically located near this infrastructure is integral to meeting the demands of today’s most progressive logistics users.”

CT acquired the land from a partnership controlled by Minnesota-based Founders Properties. Kevin Dal Porto, Blake Rasmussen, John McManus and Tyler Vallenari of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the land acquisition on behalf of CT Realty and will stay on to provide marketing services on behalf of the new owner. Darla Longo, Barbara Emmons Perrier, Rebecca Perlmutter and Michael Kendall of CBRE National Partners represented the seller.

Approximately 20 miles southwest of Atlanta in Palmetto, GA, CT Realty partnered with leading industrial real estate investor Prudential Global Investment Management (PGIM) to acquire 213 acres for the site of a three-building, 3.5 million-square-foot industrial campus that will alleviate the constraint and help meet demand for large-scale e-commerce and logistics space in the market.

Located across from a CSX intermodal facility near I-85, the Palmetto Logistics Park will be developed in three phases ranging from 1 million to 1.5 million square feet. Atlanta-based River Oaks Capital Partners will develop the project on the site of the former South Fulton Airport, while Fifth Third Bank will provide construction financing for the first phase of the project.

“This is such an uncommon opportunity to acquire what is essentially an infill parcel for a significant logistics park,” said noted James “Watty” Watson, managing partner of CT Realty. “There simply isn’t a site this large and this close to Atlanta that can support the scale of logistics development we have planned.”

CT Realty acquired the tract through Port Logistics Realty, a Dallas-based partnership between CT and fellow Southern California industrial development firm, Xebec Realty. The transaction also included an option to acquire an adjacent 145 acres for development.

Ben Logue and Price Weaver of Colliers International’s Atlanta office have been tapped to handle leasing for the project.

“The demand for large, new Class A industrial buildings in Tier 1 markets is staggering,” added Watson “By amassing a nationwide portfolio of land ideally suited for large scale logistics users, we can tap into and meet that demand head on and with a variety of choices.”

CT began implementing an aggressive acquisition strategy five years ago to expand its national footprint in an effort to take advantage of calls for large-scale industrial development. In the last three years alone, the company has acquired or developed seven million square feet of industrial space in the U.S.

The company and its affiliates currently have more than eight million square feet of industrial space under development including the 3.8 million-square-foot first phase of Southport Logistics Park, a nine million-square-foot campus being developed adjacent to the Union Pacific intermodal rail yard in Dallas.

CT and its business partners have amassed a swath of land that can support the development of an additional 15 million square feet of industrial space across the country with an emphasis on sites located near international infrastructure including intermodal rail facilities, inland ports and sea ports.