Access to I-5 and speedy permitting process make site attractive
Construction is underway on a 64,800-square-foot light-industrial building in Woodland. Twenty-five percent of the building located in the Woodland Industrial Park is already leased. The project is owned by Heritage Centre LLC and is being constructed by Schlecht Construction. Larry Schlecht, owner of Schlecht Construction, is also a general partner in the Heritage Centre project. Construction began in July and is scheduled to be completed by December.
The 4.9 acre lot was chosen for its direct access to I-5 said Bryan Halbert, manager of Schlecht’s Vancouver office. Additionally, cost and time considerations were taken into account.
"The cost to build in Woodland is less than in Clark County due to the regulation process," said Halbert.
The approval process is quicker outside Clark County, said Halbert, allowing Heritage Centre to come online while the market is ripe. Not too long ago, the vacancy rate for commercial space was close to 20 percent, he said. But, according to Halbert, an improving economy has increased demand.
"Our goal was to beat the competition to the market with space to meet the demand," said Halbert.
Based on the amount of interest he has seen from potential tenants, particularly manufacturers, Halbert expects more development in Woodland to follow.
A unique approach was taken to finance the $3.8 million project. A number of local investors partnered in funding Heritage Centre. Halbert said this provides for a lower debt-to-value ratio, which in turn allows Heritage Centre to offer competitive lease rates. Investors will realize a "very good" rate of return in an area where there are few investment opportunities, said Halbert.
"This allows more people to have ownership in a piece of income-producing property," he said.
A Clark County cabinet manufacturer has agreed to relocate its business into 16,200 square feet — 25 percent — of the building. Halbert said it would be ideal to add three more tenants with one occupying 50 percent of the space and another two utilizing the remaining 25 percent. Halbert said he is in discussions with a number of potential tenants and expects to have the building fully occupied by the second quarter of next year. He said the facility could accommodate approximately 80 employees.
The facility is being built using concrete tilt-up construction and will feature a pre-engineered steel-framed metal-clad roof.