Murphy Development Co. is planning a 79,000-square-foot building at 8500 Kearns in the Siempre Viva Business Park as part of a robust development schedule for 2018.

By Thor Kamban Biberman

Murphy Development Co. was involved in two of the most notable industrial transactions of 2017, and the firm is prepping for a big 2018 as well.
Murphy paid $27.8 million last year to acquire two industrial properties that it previously developed at 2001 and 2055 Sanyo Avenue in Otay Mesa. The buildings total 542,197 square feet.

The San Diego-based developer also signed five leases, totaling 386,401 square feet, in October. Three of the leases were for buildings in The Campus at San Diego Business Park, which was originally built by Murphy in the mid-1980s.

Approximately half of the business park was reacquired early last year from the Panasonic Corp. of North America.

The U.S. Government’s General Services Administration (GSA) also executed a 10-year lease with Murphy for 40,872 square feet of office space at the recently reacquired 2055 Sanyo Avenue building.

kSARIA, a provider of fiber optic connectivity manufacturing technology, also signed a three-year lease for 59,267 square feet of office and warehouse space at 2055 Sanyo Avenue. kSARIA was represented by Evan Knudson of CBRE Group, Inc. Murphy was represented by Bryan Teel and Ronald King of Kidder Matthews.

Brokerage and Logistics Solutions, Inc. (BLS), a binational integrated logistics services company, executed a five-year lease with Murphy for 36,954 square feet at the 2001 Sanyo Avenue building. BLS was represented by Erik Parker of CBRE Group, Inc. while Murphy was represented by Teel and King.

Kaitlin Murphy-Arduino, Murphy Development Co. executive vice president, said the old Panasonic Campus is about 70 percent leased.

Other Murphy buildings, including the 121,970-square-foot Building 18 in Otay Mesa’s Siempre Viva Business Park, are still being filled.

“That building has about 100,000 square feet available,” Murphy said.

The development firm also sold a 159,631-square-foot building in the Siempre Viva Business Park for $26.5 million to food processor Ajinomoto Windsor Inc. last year.

Murphy Development Co. also is planning a 79,000-square-foot building at 8500 Kearns in the Siempre Viva Business Park, and another 137,000 industrial building at the intersection of Sanyo Avenue and Airway roads near the old Panasonic campus.

Concurrent with these efforts is the firm’s plans for both the 3.2 million-square-foot Brown Field Technology Park in Otay Mesa, and the 1 million-square-foot-plus Scripps Ranch Technology Park.

“We will be putting in the infrastructure for Brown Field Technology Park early this year,” Murphy said, adding that she hopes to see the first industrial buildings begin to go up before the end of the year.

Murphy Development Co. wasn’t the only entity active in Otay Mesa in 2017.

In November, an affiliate of TIAA paid $52 million for the seven-building, 517,207-square-foot Frontera Business Park, Customhouse Court, and Customhouse Plaza. The seller was the IDS Real Estate Group.

The property also contains a truck yard and includes about 10 acres for a proposed 182,910-square-foot, build-to-suit on Drucker Lane that The CoStar Group reports could begin by March.

The Frontera Business Park is part of the International Business Center that is one mile from the Cross-Border CBX terminal, which allows air travelers to enter Tijuana’s Rodriguez Field from Otay Mesa.

There was significant activity in North County as well.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals paid $79.4 million in July to buy a 176,000-square-foot office and R&D building at 2855 Gazelle Court in Carlsbad. The seller was Rancho Bernardo-based BioMed Realty Trust — now a subsidiary of The Blackstone Group.

The building was constructed as a build-to-suit for the biotech company in 2011, but Ionis leased the space for the next six years. The lease contained an option to buy. BioMed developed the property.

The CoStar Group noted that Ionis took out a $51.35 million UBS loan to purchase the property, which has 477 parking spaces.

Other $20 million-plus industrial transactions in 2017, as noted by CoStar, included the $44 million sale of the Pacific Corporate Center (former a Time Warner building) in Sorrento Mesa to Crown Acquisition Associates in September as part of a 1031 exchange; and Gramercy Property Trust’s $23.8 million acquisition of the Sears Distribution Building at 960 Sherman Street in the Morena area in July.