Pier 1 Plans Distribution Center Near Ontario Airport

As expected, growing retail giant Pier 1 Imports has committed to one of the biggest industrial real estate leases ever in the distribution hub surrounding Ontario International Airport.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based home furnishings retailer signed a 15-year deal for a 750,000-square-foot "build-to-suit" regional distribution center within developer Lennar Partners' Philadelphia Place mixed-use business park in Ontario. Pier 1 also has an option to rent an additional 250,000 square feet of custom-designed distribution space. The combined value of the two properties upon completion is estimated at $38 million.

Pier 1 plans to relocate from its 450,000-square-foot facility in nearby Rancho Cucamonga when the new building is completed next spring north of the Pomona Freeway between Haven and Archibald avenues. The facility is expected to service about 145 Pier 1 stores in the western U.S., including Hawaii. Brokers David Hasbrouck and Charles Belden of Cushman & Wakefield negotiated the deal on Pier 1's behalf, while Lee & Associates' Joe McKay represented the developer.

Pier 1 recorded net retail sales of more than $1 billion in its fiscal year ended Feb. 28. Expansion in the U.S. and Canada should increase its retail network from 750-plus stores to about 900 by 2000, company officials said.

When the Pier 1 facility is done, Lennar Partners will have completed more than 60% of its 113-acre development at Philadelphia Place. Additional plans by the subsidiary of Miami-based LNR Property Corp. include a mix of retail and restaurant facilities, along with a hotel and smaller industrial buildings.

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