CRG, the real estate development and investment arm of Chicago-based Clayco, has expanded its Southern California market presence through a partnership with Lake Creek Industrial (LCI).
Through this partnership, LCI will lead CRG’s Southern California operations, sourcing regional development opportunities for speculative and build-to-suit industrial facilities while leveraging CRG’s vertically integrated platform with Clayco.
“We’re committed to growing our business in Southern California and this partnership with LCI will allow us to better and more quickly source opportunities on the ground in one of the most important industrial markets in the country,” said Shawn Clark, president of CRG. “With LCI, CRG will continue to deliver next-generation logistics facilities in Southern California and across the West Coast.”
LCI Principal Mike Johnson, a real estate veteran with over 16 years of experience, founded LCI in September 2018 and has spearheaded the acquisition and/or development of more than 60 industrial projects totaling more than 18 million square feet and 250 acres. The company will now work within CRG’s national platform.
“What CRG and Clayco have built with a full-service real estate and design-build model is truly unique in our industry, and we think this partnership gives us the opportunity to efficiently scale our activity in this market,” Johnson said. “They’ve proven the value of their approach nationally, so we’re excited to build upon that success and continue delivering best-in-class industrial buildings for clients and investors.”
Joining Johnson will be Senior Vice President Bob Kubichek and Manager Melinda Muldaur, who combined have over 40 years of construction, development, and project management experience. Kubichek has managed the ground-up construction of more than 16 projects across the West Coast totaling over 3.4 million square feet, as well as the rehabs of nine office and industrial properties.
With a surge in third-quarter industrial leasing activity according to JLL Research, CRG expects the demand for next generation logistics facilities to swiftly increase as the market races to deliver ecommerce warehouse space. Strengthened demand from industrial users caused a 37.2 percent increase in leasing activity between second and third quarter across the Los Angeles industrial market.
“In Los Angeles, we’re dealing with a market that’s still catching up from a temporary pause as it felt the early impacts of the pandemic,” said Kevin Newell, head of industrial markets at CRG. “We’ve seen this pattern in several other markets, and we’ve seen our buildings outperform our expectations because major e-commerce users are moving quickly to adapt their supply chain. That’s why it’s very important we’re on the ground in Southern California, and Mike and his team are the perfect partners to help us support our clients and capital partners in this key strategic market.”
LCI will develop under The Cubes industrial brand, which is owned and developed by CRG. The Cubes are built to anticipate the enhanced requirements of tomorrow’s modern industrial user based on the state-of-the-art specifications of today’s leading e-commerce and logistics companies.
“Our buildings are constructed with a distinctive understanding of what today’s major e-commerce users want and need out of their industrial space because we work with those companies every single day in markets across the country,” Clark said. “So, it’s pivotal that we strengthen our foothold across Southern California to support the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach so that we’re prepared to deliver what our clients and capital partners want. This partnership is an important step in doing that.”