Back to Blog
When it comes to urban planning and development, one of the fundamental pillars that shape the landscape of a city is its development code. These codes outline the rules and regulations that govern what can be built where, guiding the growth of communities in an organized and sustainable manner.
One critical aspect of these codes is confirming allowable uses for various zones within a municipality.
Understanding Allowable Uses:
Allowable uses are essentially a list of activities or functions that are permitted in a specific zoning district. These uses are carefully considered to ensure that they align with the intended character of the area and are compatible with neighboring uses. This proactive approach not only helps maintain the harmony of the community but also contributes to the economic vitality and overall well-being of residents.
Importance of Confirming Allowable Uses: You don't want to end up signing a lease for a property that has a use restriction for your specific operations. This could be the difference of a deal or no deal. This is also important to consider during entitlements and zone changes. Choosing the appropriate zoning with the widest allowable uses is typically the best answer.
Southern California Examples:
The importance of confirming allowable uses in a municipality's development code cannot be overstated. It restricts what the city may consider "heavy uses" from certain light industrial zoning and verification of this before development or leasing is a must.
Back to Blog
You've seen it on marketing brochures before - 28', 32', 18' clear height - but what does that mean?
In warehousing and logistics, optimizing storage space is a crucial factor in achieving operational efficiency. Among various factors that influence a warehouse's capacity, the clear height stands out as a key consideration. Clear height refers to the vertical distance between the warehouse floor and the lowest overhead obstruction, such as beams or pipes.
Why Clear Heights Matter: Clear heights play a pivotal role in determining a warehouse's storage capacity, safety, and flexibility. Here are a few reasons why clear heights are crucial:
The increase in clear height directly impacts the storage volume capacity of a warehouse. Here are the approximate percentage differences in storage volume between the aforementioned clear heights:
These percentages are approximate and can vary depending on the specific layout, racking systems, and other factors present in a warehouse.
Clear heights are a critical consideration for warehouse buildings, as they directly impact storage capacity, flexibility, and safety. By choosing the appropriate clear height, businesses can optimize their storage space and accommodate a wider range of products efficiently. The examples provided demonstrate the storage volume differences associated with various clear heights, highlighting the significant benefits that higher clear heights offer in terms of maximizing warehouse efficiency and capacity.
If you need help determining which clear height makes the most sense for your operation or laying out your racking - contact us today, we have the network of experts to help you.
Back to Blog
1. What is it?
A Sale Leaseback is a term for a transaction that involves a building owner that is also the operating business in the facility. After the sale is completed the operating business continues to occupy the building during a specified lease period. Here's an example:
Holding Company A owns 123 Main Street which is occupied by Operating Company A (which is also owned by Holding Company A). Holding Company A sells the building to Value Add Investor and agrees to lease the space for a 1 year period after the sale closes at an agreed upon rate.
2. Why would an owner user do this?
An owner user would consider this option when they hold significant equity in a property and are at the tail end of the life cycle of their operating business. This allows them to realize the gains from their equity while also giving them a wind down time for shutting down or relocating the business. Another reason could be the owner preparing for retirement.
3. Who would buy this?
There are many types of investors that are interested in Sale Leaseback transactions. A Value Add investor would look to have a shorter term lease back (12 months or less) and would hope to increase the value of the property through a new lease after the leaseback term expires.
Another type of investor may look to a sale leaseback in order to acquire a cash flowing asset with a known occupant. This reduces their vacancy risk until it is time to renew or re-tenant the building.
4. How can I find out more?
Contact us! We have been involved in Sale Leasebacks and understand the delicate transition of going from building owner to tenant as well as critical communication when stepping in as the new owner of a leased back building.
Back to Blog
Let's talk 135 foot truck court Class A industrial standard.
When I refer to a truck court I mean the area of an industrial building that contains the dock high doors, truck maneuvering and sometimes trailer parking.
When industrial/warehouse buildings are marketed you will see a reference to a 135' truck court (hopefully!) - that is the distance from the outer face of the building/dock to the end of the truck court or to the front of trailer parking.
So why is this the market standard? Who decided that? Turns out this 135' number hasn't always been the standard. For years it was 130'. But still, why is there a standard at all?
Well, Architects and Engineers studied the turning radius for the largest truck and trailer combos on the road. This analysis resulted in a depth of 131' being the optimal size to handle the largest legal truck/trailer. But 131 doesn't roll of the tongue, 130 looks crisp and that's what stuck. From there 135 eventually overtook 130 as the standard.
or new construction Class A industrial you will now find that almost all have truck courts at least 135'. The LA market doesn't typically have larger truck courts due to site constraints when compared to IE sites that will now often have 185' truck courts. Wait 185'?
Yep, with a 185' truck court you can now park trailers AND have the optimal maneuvering site. Why not bigger? Why is this difficult?
Industrial development and site planning work around many constraints: auto parking requirements, landscaping % coverage, FAR max, and fire truck drive aisles, just to name a few.
In CA it is typical for the architect to do the site planning and developers rely on them for efficient site design that maximizes all of the factors of a Class A facility. A 135' truck court is one of those factors.
Back to Blog
You own a piece of land in California and want to develop a warehouse on it. Now what?
Development in California is not a straightforward process. Over the course of time various legislature has been passed that seeks to limit the environmental impacts of new development. The major law that drives this is the California Environmental Protection Act (CEQA). CEQA requires the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) such as cities or counties to review a proposed project's environmental impact. Let's run through what the development process and considerations typically are for an industrial project (this process differs slightly for other commercial or residential projects).
Every project will need to look at the following aspects that affect a parcel:
1. What is my zoning?
2. What is my land use in the General Plan (more on General Plans in a later post)?
3. What does the development/municipal code allow to be built by-right, with a Conditional Use Permit, or Minor Permit?
If the land already has a building on it there are other considerations and possible exemptions (keep an eye out for my redevelopment post later on!) that can make the approvals timeline shorter.
The city will have a zoning map that identifies what each parcel is currently zoned. Example zonings could include: Commercial General, Mixed Use, or Light Industrial.
2. General Plan Land use
The General Plan is the blueprint for a city's growth and development. A General Plan gets updated every 4-8 years (Housing Element by law in this period, other elements can take longer to get updated). In the General Plan, the Land Use Element provides guidance on the vision for types of development throughout the city. Oftentimes this is represented by a map though it is not required to be detailed by parcel.
Due to the General Plan getting updated periodically there are times that the Land Use in the General Plan doesn't match the Zoning per code. Since the General Plan is the vision for the city, Planning departments are typically open to zone changes to convert a parcel's zoning to match the General Plan Land Use designation.
3. Allowable Uses per Development Code
With the zoning and land use determined, the next step is to review the Development Code to see what is allowed in each zoning district. A project can be Permitted, require a Conditional/Minor Use Permit, or Not Allowed. Most cities have a matrix showing each typical use and the status in each zoning district. See an example below:
Now that you've determined what you can build on your property per existing code your next step is to go through the Planning approval process. The below flowchart gives you an idea of just how many steps are involved before you even start construction!
Stay tuned for future posts about the CEQA process, navigating plan check, and more!
Back to Blog
Welcome to the first blog post for Industrial Socal. Industrial Socal is a site focused on providing expertise on industrial real estate in Southern California and connecting people with the resources they need for their specific project.