How SCLA Is Putting Itself on the Map

VICTORVILLE, CA—The Southern California Logistics Airport here is being used not just for flight, but for aircraft painting, maintenance, storage and as an international hub, assistant city manager Keith Metzler tells GlobeSt.com. Moreover, the airport and the city itself have been recognized by both Hollywood and Madison Ave. as ideal for filming movies, TV show and commercials—in fact, the airport was recently the site of Southwest Airlines’ newly filmed commercial. GlobeSt.com spoke with Metzler about what’s been happening lately at the airport. GlobeSt.com: Tell us about some of the new ways SCLA is being used and recognized. Metzler: At our airport, we have two runways, and they intersect. Inside the V that makes the intersection is a dedicated area for airplanes to do engine run-ups. It’s a safe place for after-flight or maintenance. They can park it and rev up the engines to full throttle without harming people or property in the area. Also, we have a modern-looking blast fence that makes such blast from the engine goes up in the air rather than blowing across the desert or runway. It’s in an area that’s remote—away from people and looky-loos. What’s new with Southwest is they chose SCLA to roll out their entire new paint scheme for all their airplanes. The interesting part of it is while SCLA announced their new livery here in Victorville with the commercial photo shoot, but we see painting here on a regular basis. Because of a company called Leading Edge, which has a contract primarily with Boeing, we regularly see brand-new unpainted airplanes from their assembly lines being flown to our place to be painted. We have a whole bunch of international activity—Ethiopia Airways, FedEx—and we’re becoming a hub for that kind of activity and for Boeing after-market maintenance. GlobeSt.com: What does this indicate about the airport? Metzler: It certainly is being seen as a location where there is a labor force skilled enough to provide what’s needed regarding maintenance. The location is central to Boeing’s overall delivery of aircraft. It’s suitable for flight, but also maintenance and storage. Because we have a lot of open space, we’re not a congested environment, planes and come in unrestricted. There are no curfews or fuel slots. Here, they have free reign. GlobeSt.com: What other trends are you seeing at the airport? Metzler: We are just starting to see an increased demand for industrial space. Fortunately, we’re largely leased everything leasable, between the airport and our partner Stirling Capital Investments. We’re seeing increased solicitation for space, and we’re having a hard time fulfilling it, so we’re starting to explore some build-to-suit opportunities that might meet these needs. We’re pretty excited about it. SCLA is a large facility not just designed around aviation, but manufacturing and warehouse/distribution as well—it’s a multipurpose industrial facility.

SCLA Expansion Hinges on Developing Open Spaces

VICTORVILLE — Parked airplanes dotted a wide expanse of concrete, nestled in hangars and lined up in rows in areas often mistaken for boneyards. During a recent tour of Southern California Logistics Airport, the massive logistics and industrial park seemed rather quiet while certain corners faded into the abandoned George Air Force Base housing not far away. But the airport built on part of the former military installation has been anything but silent. Companies including Boeing, Pacific Aerospace Resource and Technologies and Leading Edge, which lease hangars there, have ramped up work thanks in part to a boom in fuel-efficient engine testing, according to Victorville Assistant City Manager Keith Metzler, who is in charge of operations at the facility. While SCLA is bustling with aircraft testing, maintenance, modifications, painting and disassembly, it also boasts among its tenants the likes of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Newell Rubbermaid, Plastipak and M&M Mars. Currently at full tenant capacity, the 5,000-acre site finds itself at a crossroads in terms of its aviation-oriented development, Metzler said. “The only options we have right now are to continue to grow and accommodate demand for aviation space,” he said. Putting it in perspective, only about 3 million square feet of the park’s 18 million square feet has been developed thus far, leaving an opportunity to expand by a factor of six. However, the infrastructure isn’t there to make such an expansion a reality yet. Site planning is already underway to decide how best to make it happen. The regional economic engine hosts 2,000 to 3,000 total workers among its 15 tenants at any given time, and it could get bigger. Metzler said Thursday it was possible that new hangars could be added by this time next year. A swath of dirt land closer to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group facility could be built out for distribution and manufacturing in the future, but it will require work. And old, unused administrative buildings would need to be torn down to develop feasible land uses in their place. Pacific Aerospace, which provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for heavy aircraft, has likely been the “most active in gobbling up space,” Metzler said. According to Board Chairman and President David Green, the company has benefited from a strong push in manufacturing by Boeing and Airbus and has been less affected by shifts in the economy. In a down economy, clients park their planes, Green explained. In an up economy, they need maintenance on those planes to get them in the skies again. Both circumstances are fruitful for Pacific Aerospace, and the High Desert weather apparently is a persuasive factor too. “It’s the perfect climate to be able to do long-term storage,” he said. SCLA itself boasts 240 acres of aircraft parking with as many as 300 planes grounded at a time, Metzler said. Some will be recycled or scrapped for their still-valuable pieces. Others will be destroyed by a crane claw. Many are simply in need of routine repairs and will fly again. The cluster of these parked planes Thursday could easily give observers the impression that they were left there to rot, a junkyard of relics, like the remnants of the old Air Force base still found at the park. “We do have some of that,” Metzler said, “but largely a lot of these are going to go back in the air.”

Planning Underway for Future Development at Victorville’s Southern California Logistics Airport

The Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) in the High Desert city of Victorville is nearly 100 percent leased, prompting the airport to determine its next growth areas. Since becoming SCLA in 1999, the City of Victorville has overseen the build-out and leasing of approximately 3.5 msf of industrial space at SCLA. Phase Two of the City’s industrial growth plan for the airport involves attracting build-to-suit tenants to continue the development of this growing industrial and aerospace hub. Milestones of SCLA’s industrial growth began with its first major industrial transaction in February 2001, with a 22-acre ground lease to the High Desert Power Project to construct a $350 mil, 750-megawatt power generating facility. From there, SCLA attracted a 13.5-acre ground lease with General Electric in 2002; a 450k sf lease with Newell Rubbermaid in 2007; four build-to-suit hangar projects for Leading Edge Aviation Services, Pratt Whitney, FedEx and Victorville Aerospace in 2007; and a 300k sf lease with Plastipak Packaging in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group completed the construction of its 850k sf manufacturing and warehouse facility at SCLA to serve the company’s entire West Coast beverage-consuming demand. In 2011, M&M/Mars relocated its refrigerated candy warehouse operation to approximately 500k sf of building space at SCLA. Recent development at SCLA has included a 500k sf lease with United Furniture Industries in 2012 and a 100k sf lease with The Boeing Company in 2013. Upon the successful leasing of nearly 100 percent of SCLA’s industrial and hangar space, SCLA’s launch of this next phase of industrial development represents another milestone in the City of Victorville’s growth. The next phase involves identifying build-to-suit opportunities for new users, both inside and outside of the airfield fence. The City of Victorville is home to the Southern California Logistics Airport and is located approximately 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles with convenient access to major interstates, railways, trucking routes and international airports, making it one of Southern California’s most significant logistics hubs.

What’s Next for SoCal Logistics Airport?

VICTORVILLE, CA—As GlobeSt.com reported earlier this week, Southern California Logistics Airport is rapidly approaching 100% leased status and is set to launch Phase 2 of its industrial growth plan for the airport. GlobeSt.com sat down with the City of Victorville’s assistant city manager Keith Metzler to discuss what’s next for the airport and the challenges it faces as it seeks expansion. GlobeSt.com: Why was Victorville the ideal location for this airport? Metzler: Having been a military base, the big challenge was taking an old, antiquated infrastructure system, building it up to industry requirements and trying to utilize whatever land real estate we have. That’s been our biggest effort for the last 15-20 years, to get that old facility repositioned and put to use. When you go beyond that, a lot of it has to do with Victorville being central to a major consumer market in California. There are between 18 million and 20 million people in Southern California, and we’re right next door to them. GlobeSt.com: What does the airport mean for the West Coast’s industrial sector? Metzler: We have everything from warehouse logistics to manufacturing. We have been redeveloping the base and making significant investments in public-utility systems. We’re building our own municipal utility for gas and electric, we control our own water and have expanded our wastewater treatment capacity to handle highly concentrated discharge from manufacturers to use for reclaimed purposes. We’re making ourselves available to all different types of uses, including aerospace. We’re positioned well for flight testing—Boeing does flight testing at our place, and GE flight tests all its new engines being produced and occupies a hangar at our facility. We have available land and hangars to accommodate companies, offer maintenance-repair services to leasing companies and are doing a lot of OEM work. For example, Boeing is taking unpainted planes from right off the assembly line from Charleston, SC, to Seattle and sending them to us. Kenya Airways took delivery from our place and China Southern also. Boeing can’t keep up with the painting demand, so they’re outsources it to tenant Leading Edge here to keep up with the demand. GlobeSt.com: Tell me about Phase 2 of the airport’s growth strategy. How will it work? Metzler: We’re trying to decide that right now. What we know is that we’re at a crossroads. We have been fortunate over the years to rely heavily on tax-increment funding, which was the redevelopment funding in California to build the infrastructure to support the industry. The biggest challenge we have right now is the state of California abolished the RDAs, so we can’t rely on that funding source. We’re forced to look at what we have in terms of real estate. We are looking at where are the most logical places to take advantage of existing real estate. We have partners we refer to as master developers for the airport, but we’re looking for developers for properties inside the fence line for aeronautical and non-aeronautical purposes. We’re looking to partner with the airport authority to do build-to-suit. GlobeSt.com: Are there logistical airports like SCLA in the country? Are more in the works? Metzler: The closest one to ours I’ve seen is Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It’s a Ross Perot project, and it’s the closest to what we have. They’re lucky because they’ve had a 15-to-20-year head start on us and are in Texas because everyone wants to be there, and the environment is different. It’s been a huge success, and if there was one we would aspire to, it would be that one. Maybe the closest geographically is San Bernardino, which is trying to attract passengers rather than industrial. But that’s not our focus. I don’t realistically believe passenger service is viable in Victorville since we’re so close to the Ontario International Regional Airport.

Logistics Airport Nears Total Occupancy

VICTORVILLE, CA—GlobeSt.com has learned exclusively that the City of Victorville’s Southern California Logistics Airport is approaching 100% leased on the eve of its 15th anniversary. Since the airport became SCLA in 1999, the City has overseen the build-out and leasing of approximately 3.5 million square feet of industrial space there, and now SCLA is poised for Phase 2. The second phase of the industrial growth plan involves attracting build-to-suit tenants to continue the development of this growing industrial and aerospace hub. “Industrial growth at SCLA is a testament to the pro-business climate and unique utilities offerings that we have worked to create in the City of Victorville,” says Keith Metzler, assistant city manager at the City of Victorville. “We are excited to enter this next phase of growth to help companies like Dr. Pepper Snapple Group leverage the benefits of Victorville through build-to-suit industrial development.” Milestones of SCLA’s growth began with its first major industrial transaction in February 2001, with a 22-acre ground lease to the High Desert Power Project to construct a $350-million, 750-megawatt power-generating facility. From there, SCLA attracted a 13.5-acre ground lease with General Electric in 2002; a 450,000-square-foot lease with Newell Rubbermaid in 2007; four build-to-suit hangar projects for Leading Edge Aviation Services, Pratt Whitney, FedEx and Victorville Aerospace in 2007; and a 300,000-square-foot lease with Plastipak Packaging in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group completed the construction of its 850,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse facility at SCLA to serve the company’s entire West Coast beverage-consuming demand. And in 2011, M&M/Mars relocated its refrigerated-candy warehouse operation to approximately 500,000 square feet of building space at SCLA. Recent development at SCLA has included a 500,000-square-foot lease with United Furniture Industries in 2012 and a 100,000-square-foot lease with the Boeing Co. in 2013. The next phase involves identifying build-to-suit opportunities for new users, both inside and outside of the airfield fence. Logistics development in Southern California has been in the news recently. As GlobeSt.com reported earlier this month, groundbreaking has begun on locally based Goodman Birtcher’s first development project, Goodman Logistics Center Rancho Cucamonga. The Inland Empire facility marks the start of a $1.5-billion push into major US markets for the Irvine, CA-based company, established in 2012 as the American arm of Australian industrial powerhouse Goodman Group. Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Keith Metzler on SCLA’s milestone and the next phase for the logistics airport, coming up on GlobeSt.com.

Boeing Signs New Lease for Long-Term Growth at Southern California Logistics Airport

The Boeing Company has signed a $1.8 million three-year lease at the City of Victorville’s Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA). The aerospace company’s 100,000-square-foot lease includes 10,000 square feet of office space and 90,000 square feet of hanger space at SCLA’s Hangar 678. The three-year lease includes three, three-year options, for a total of $8.3 million over the next 12 years. “Boeing’s extension at Southern California Logistics Airport is a testament to the pro-business climate we have worked to create in the City of Victorville,” said Keith Metzler, assistant city manager at the City of Victorville. “This lease will pave the way for additional high-caliber corporations to follow Boeing’s lead and locate their operations in Victorville.” A growing customer of SCLA since 2003, Boeing’s long-term occupancy of Hangar 678 enables the company to centralize three of its growing operating divisions: Boeing Capital, Boeing AOG and Boeing Flight Test. SCLA’s Hangar 678 serves as a facility for aircraft transition and modification services, including modification with upgraded electronics and inflight entertainment, as well as structural repairs for Boeing customers from around the world. Additionally, the facility serves as a hub for Boeing’s instillation of buyer furnished equipment on new aircraft. The extension of Boeing’s lease represents continued growth for SCLA, also exemplified by other long-term customers such as Plastipak Packaging Inc., a global leader in product packaging, which is currently in the fifth year of its nine-year lease. Plastipak customers include Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Kroger and Tropicana. Other notable companies located at SCLA include Newell Rubbermaid and GE Transportation.

The Boeing Company Inks Three-Year Lease for 100k sf in Victorville

The Boeing Company has signed a $1.8 mil, 36-month lease for 100k sf of space at the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) campus in the city of Victorville. The aerospace company’s lease includes 10k sf of office space and 90k sf of hanger space at SCLA’s Hangar 678. The deal includes three, three-year options that could bring the lease total to $8.3 mil over the next 12 years. A tenant at SCLA since 2003, Boeing’s long-term occupancy of Hangar 678 enables the company to centralize three of its growing operating divisions: Boeing Capital, Boeing AOG and Boeing Flight Test. SCLA’s Hangar 678 serves as a facility for aircraft transition and modification services, including modification with upgraded electronics and inflight entertainment, as well as structural repairs for Boeing customers from around the world. Additionally, the facility serves as a hub for Boeing’s instillation of buyer furnished equipment on new aircraft. The extension of Boeing’s lease represents continued growth for SCLA, also exemplified by other long-term customers such as Plastipak Packaging Inc, a global leader in product packaging, which is currently in the fifth year of its nine-year lease. Plastipak customers include Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Kroger and Tropicana. Other notable companies located at SCLA include Newell Rubbermaid and GE Transportation.

SCLA Tenant Leading Edge Gets Major Airline Contract

SCLA aviation company to begin design, logo work for American Airlines.

A Victor Valley company has been busy ever since American Airlines and US Airways combined forces and called for a total face-lift of its aircraft. Leading Edge Aviation Services Inc. of Victorville will begin design and logo work on a new Boeing 777, as the airlines continue the $11 billion merger process, which will result in American Airlines becoming the largest carrier in the world. In January, American unveiled its new design at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, after Leading Edge in Victorville completed the paint and design project on the American Airlines-owned Boeing 737-800 and two Boeing 777s. Alicia Castle, sales and marketing manager for Leading Edge, could not disclose when the next Boeing aircraft will touch down at the Southern California Logistics Airport-based facility, but did say the company was excited to be involved in the project. Castle said her company, which has eight locations in the U.S., was awarded the contract after numerous discussions over the past year with Tom Horton, CEO and chairman of American Airlines. Leading Edge’s work on more than 650 aircraft during the United and Continental airlines merger, which is 85 percent complete, also played a key role in the decision. “It has been over 40 years since American has changed its look and feel,” said Horton during a press conference in January to unveil the new design. American Airlines, which sought bankruptcy protection in November 2011, will offer its creditors a 72 percent majority stake in the newly merged airline, with US Airways shareholders owning the remaining portion. Since the bankruptcy, the airline has slowly done away with its silver aluminum look with large AAs on its aircraft, to an American Flagstyle tail, and red, white, silver and blue eagle logo. Since 2007, Leading Edge has served the airline industry by servicing more than 200 various aircraft per year from its 235,000-square-foot facility at SCLA.