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An industrial facility is going up near Long Beach Airport, with more projects in the works, developer says

The Goodman Group, owner and developer of 93 acres on the west side of the airfield, is considering more projects over the next five years.

An industrial facility is going up near Long Beach Airport, with more projects in the works, developer says
The former site of a Boeing manufacturing and office facility is being redeveloped into a new industrial building directly west of Long Beach Airport. Monday, May 6, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

For decades, a more than 450,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility west of Long Beach Airport served the city’s aviation industry under various owners, including Douglas Aircraft Company, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.

That building was recently leveled to make way for a larger industrial building at 2401 E. Wardlow Rd.

The Goodman Group, an international commercial real estate developer and owner of 93 acres west of Long Beach Airport, began demolition of the old Boeing building in September and expects the new 505,000-square-foot facility to be completed before the end of the year.

Lang Cottrell, regional director of the southwest for Goodman Group, told the Watchdog that the facility is being built with no specific tenant in mind.

“I think the key here is … flexibility,” Cottrell said. “We want to be able to bring in aerospace, distribution, light manufacturing or technology-based companies.”

Goodman purchased the massive property from Boeing for $200 million in June 2019, nearly four years after the aviation giant halted production of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in late 2015. Two years later, Goodman leased the sizable 1.1 million-square-foot C-17 hangar to Relativity Space.

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The smaller building, on 24 acres directly across Wardlow Road, was a much tougher sell, Cottrell said.

“We were negotiating with a number of different groups on that building at different times — both distribution and aerospace,” Cottrell said. “But it was not as attractive (as the hangar) because the capital required to bring it up to speed.”

One of the companies Goodman was in negotiations with was Amazon, city records show. A site development plan dated November 2020 detailed the proposed distribution center, including renderings of the revamped building.

A rendering of the proposed Amazon distribution center near Wardlow Road and Cherry Avenue. Courtesy of the city of Long Beach.

With no viable offers on the table for the space, Cottrell said Goodman decided it would be easier to level the building and start fresh.

About 90% of materials from the demolition were reused or recirculated, Cottrell said, noting the company has a mandate to focus on environmentally friendly development. To that end, the new building is on track to be certified LEED Silver — the second tier of the world’s most widely used green building rating system.

Cottrell said the project is only a few points away from LEED Gold and that the company is looking at ways to improve its sustainability rating.

Thank Brandon Richardson for his coverage of Long Beach.

Once complete, the site also will feature 505 parking spaces, 89 trailer parking stalls, 40-foot clearance, 61 dock doors, a 240-foot truck court, 105 cycle spaces, two grade-level doors, a secured yard, and a 10,000-square foot mezzanine, among other things.

Goodman also owns 11 acres directly west of the new building, which is currently a massive parking lot located in both Long Beach and Lakewood. Depending on the future lease agreement for the new building, Cottrell said the area could be used as overflow parking for its tenants or be developed with smaller buildings ranging in size from 75,000 to 125,000 square feet similar to those at Douglas Park on the east side of the airport.

The company also owns the former Boeing property with frontage on Cherry Avenue, located between the Fantastic Burgers location to the south and Caruso Ford to the north.

“We have done some light marketing of that,” Cottrell said, adding that they have had some interest from smaller grocers that would need a 10,000 to 20,000 building and some parking.

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“I think the majority of users at this point are still looking at how everything behind (the site) is going to be built out,” he said.

There are some short-term leases for the buildings on the smaller parcel, including the Long Beach Fire Department, which is using an old Boeing facility as a temporary station while a new one is built out, Cottrell said.

Developments in the area fall under the city’s Globemaster Corridor Specific Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in May 2021. The plan outlines development standards along Cherry Avenue near the airport. Projects that comply with the plan still work through the plan-check and permitting processes, but do not require votes from the Planning Commission or City Council.

Wardlow Road between Cherry Avenue and Long Beach Airport will see more improvements from Goodman Group as the company redevelops the area. Monday, May 6, 2024. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The active industrial development will see the continued reconfiguration of Wardlow Road between Cherry Avenue and the airfield, Cottrell noted. Goodman already has added sidewalks and bike paths along the stretch, the latter of which will need to be connected to other areas by the city. Additional road improvements and landscaping will be installed as the project progresses.

Contrell said it will likely be another five years before the whole of the Goodman property is fully built out. But they are confident good companies will move in when it’s all said and done.

“You’ve got to give credit to city leadership and what they’ve done to highlight why Long Beach is attractive, why it’s special,” Contrell said. “Not only the location, but the educated workforce, the opportunities and the alignment with the aerospace industry.”

“We’re really happy being in Long Beach,” he continued. “If we had other opportunities to buy in the city, we would definitely do that.”

Although Brandon Richardson hasn’t received a paycheck since he was laid off from the Long Beach Post and Business Journal on March 22, he has continued to cover business and breaking news in Long Beach at The Watchdog.

Buy him a beer directly (here) to thank him. Or you can donate to the Long Beach Media Guild Relief Fund (here) to help striking and laid-off workers pay for groceries, bills and rent.

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