Over the next 36 to 48 months, approximately 400 new jobs will be created in Victorville, Calif. This is being made possible through the lease Stirling Capital Investments secured with United Furniture Industries (UFI), a manufacturer of affordable furniture that is sold primarily under the Simmons brand name. UFI will occupy a 505,192-square-foot industrial facility at the Southern California Logistics Centre (SCLC) in November 2011. The 1 million-square-foot building was part of a large investment Stirling Capital made in 2009 in a strategic move to attract businesses like UFI that need space more quickly than the ground-up development process.
“We are thrilled that UFI is adding a significant number of jobs to the Victor Valley. Over the past few years, we made a substantial investment in the local community, which has resulted in well over 500 jobs, significant tax revenues for the City, and an overall boost to the local and regional economy,” said Brian Parno, chief operating officer of Stirling Development, the managing partner of Stirling Capital Investments.
UFI, a Mississippi-based company, has signed an agreement that will position the company with a West Coast manufacturing and distribution facility to better serve Southern California and Western U.S. markets. Immediately, the firm plans to hire 100 people and grow to approximately 400 employees within the next 36 to 48 months.
“This is a great example of the public-private partnership at Southern California Logistics Airport that is meeting its goals to create jobs and develop a long-term economic engine,” said Mayor Ryan McEachron. “In times like this, our partnership is taking action to make things happen, not sit around and see if the State or Federal government will bail us out.”
“UFI will begin the process of local staff development in October. We plan to complete a soft opening of manufacturing and distribution operations in November. We expect our employment to exceed 100 people early in the first quarter of 2012,” said Bob Cottam, spokesperson for UFI.
The County of San Bernardino’s Department of Workforce Development will assist UFI in the hiring process. A job fair will be advertised in the local press in October. Additionally, UFI has hired a private consultant from the region to aid the firm during this hiring and staffing process, and develop a productive workforce in the High Desert.
Cottam further stated, “UFI has a history of making every effort possible to procure goods and services in the local communities where we have a manufacturing presence. We are excited about the prospects for our success in the Western United States and this new facility in the California High Desert. From day one, when our team arrived in Victorville, to evaluate the region and the SCLC complex, the City and County were most accommodating and helpful in their advice and guidance.”
Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR of the Bradco Companies represented UFI in the transaction. Stirling was represented by Jay Dick and Mark Latimer of CB Richard Ellis. “UFI chose to locate at Southern California Logistics Center due to an easily accessible workforce in the Victorville area and the availability of a high quality, existing building. Stirling has put up a great building in a well-conceived master plan,” said Brady.
The UFI commitment follows in a trend of recent leasing activity at SCLC. To date in 2011, leases have encompass more than 1,078,000 square feet with companies including a major confectionary company, Sparkletts® Water, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Southern California Aviation (SCA), among others. These companies join an extensive roster of companies located in the High Desert that includes Boeing, GE, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, ConAgra Foods and Plastipak.
SCLC is master planned for 60 million square feet of commercial and industrial development and is undergoing a 6.5 million-square-foot first phase. Approximately 3 million square feet has been constructed to date.