AURORA | With big names like Amazon gobbling up warehouse space in north Aurora, Majestic Realty Co. is betting big — more than 800,000-square-feet kind of big — on the city’s future as a distribution hub.
The company is set to break ground this fall on three buildings totaling 835,000 square feet at the Majestic Commercenter near Interstate 70 and E-470.
The project is speculative though, which means Majestic doesn’t yet have tenants for the buildings. Instead, they’re betting the area will continue to lure companies in need of warehouse and distribution space.
That bet is so large, that Majestic officials say it’s the largest speculative industrial development in the state’s history.
Randy Hertel, executive vice president and director of development, said that while the project is a massive undertaking, he is confident that Majestic will easily fill the more than 800,000 square feet of space.
“We’ve always developed buildings when we felt the time was right,” he said last week. “At this point in time, the time is right.”
The three buildings will be 523,260 square feet, 154,320 square feet and 157,000 square feet, and each will have bay spacing, dock doors, trailer parking and build-to-suit office space, the company said.
“A big part of being a master-planned business park is the ability to deliver overall flexibility in our structure to meet the diverse size of users and their needs in this market,” Hertel said in a statement announcing the project. “We’ve seen a lot of activity in that 30,000 to 80,000-square-foot user, as well as the larger industrial tenants, and our park layout and available land put us in a great position to deliver a wide range of non-competing product options for the small, medium and large user.”
Amazon moved into a more than 400,000-square-foot space at the commercenter this year and Hertel said their arrival, as well as other big-name tenants like GE and Whirlpool, show that the area is attractive for big companies with massive warehouse needs.
Last year, Majestic also bought 530 acres of land adjacent to its existing park and officials say that parcel will let them expand to offer more space to e-commerce companies like Amazon.
“We’ve enjoyed some tremendous success with our most recent buildings and a significant land acquisition,” Hertel said. “We’re excited about the opportunities our park provides to diverse users, and we’re confident in our timing to bring the space to the market in anticipation of continued growth late this year and into 2017.”
Yuriy Gorlov, business development manager for the Aurora Economic Development Council, said the project is a sign that the I-70 corridor in north Aurora is an ideal spot for warehouse and distribution facilities. While a speculative build is a bit of a gamble, Gorlov said, with vacancy rates for similar space below 5 percent around the region, there is strong demand for warehouses.
While this project is a big one for Colorado, Gorlov said other communities — especially on the coasts and closer to larger population centers — often see similar buildings with more than a million square feet. Because metro Denver is so far from other large cities those projects haven’t happened here, but he said that could change going forward.
“I think we will be seeing the move to larger distribution centers, maybe pushing that million-square-foot space, because of the e-commerce market,” he said.