CBRE announced today that a new 55-acre in-fill, rail-served industrial development is coming to the I-76 corridor in Commerce City. Mid-Rail Industrial Park will be the first new construction project to offer railway access in central Denver in recent memory. CBRE's Jim Bolt, Mike Camp and Todd Witty are marketing the site on behalf of the land owner, Mid-Rail Real Estate, LLC, which is affiliated with Gary Stein of Houston's Triple-S Steel Holdings. Triple-S, locally operated as Intsel Steel West (formerly R&S Steel), will occupy 22 of the park's 55 acres with the remaining 32.5 acres available for sale or build-to-suit development. Located at 84th Avenue and Ulster Street, the property offers direct access to the Burlington Northern (BNSF) railway.
"Rail sites typically sit on the outskirts of metro areas, so the fact Mid-Rail Industrial Park is coming to North Central Denver presents a real differentiator for companies. Not only can industrial users be closer to the population they serve, but they can also take advantage of the significant cost savings of rail transit and the chance to build from the ground-up to their specific needs. It's a great fit for suppliers associated with the construction industry that depend on the low-cost delivery of materials and are facing unprecedented demand in the wake of Denver's population growth," said Todd Witty, First Vice President, CBRE Industrial & Logistics in Denver.
According to CBRE research, transportation costs account for approximately half of an industrial operation's total costs. More companies have turned to rail service in recent years as a way to mitigate that spend. Logistics Management magazine reports that the rail industry has experienced a surge in volume since mid-2017, yet room for growth remains with railways currently operating at about 80 percent of their peak volume levels.
"The beauty of rail service is that it can run all day and all night with minimal staffing. Also, it is not impeded by the road traffic and construction congestion we see in high-growth markets like Denver. Rail is a very reliable and cost-effective transit strategy if companies can locate in areas with access, which up until the launch of Mid-Rail, have been few and far between in metro Denver," said Mike Camp, Senior Vice President, CBRE Industrial & Logistics Services, Denver.
The Mid-Rail Industrial Park sits adjacent to the BNSF railway, which follows Highway 2 in North Central Denver. As part of the site development over 6,000 feet of siding has been constructed from which lead track will be pulled to provide direct rail access into the park. The remaining acreage available for sale for build-to-suits or for lease is divided into two portions: 17 acres on the north side of 84th Avenue and 15.5 acres on the south. Syracuse Street borders the property to the west and Ulster Street to the East. Mid-Rail is zoned PUD, which allows for I-2 heavy industrial use as well as rail and outside storage.
"The site's proximity to both the BNSF rail line and Highway 2 was what initially attracted us to this location," said Sam Stein, a project manager for Triple-S. "The rail spur allows us to bring in product from vendors across the country, and the easy highway access helps us serve our customers all over Colorado as well as other states such as Wyoming and Montana."
Triple-S Steel relocated its Denver operations to the Mid-Rail Industrial Park site in the first quarter of this year. Mr. Stein has enlisted CBRE's Bolt, Camp and Witty to market the existing R&S Steel properties for sale and lease, which include a production/distribution facility in northeast Denver and a warehouse/office building in Commerce City.
The former R&S Steel production/distribution facility is located at 3811 Joliet Street, near the intersection of Havana Street and Smith Road, just south of I-70. The site includes a 124,290-square-foot crane-served building plus outside storage on 10 acres. The building's clear heights range from 26 to 40 feet. The site also includes approximately 15,000-square feet of office space, 16 oversized drive-in doors and four wash bays. It is available for sale or lease.
In Commerce City, the former R&S Steel warehouse/office space is located at 6300 Clermont Street and is available for sublease. It includes 64,944 square feet of craned-served warehouse space, 7,800-square feet of office and 1.64 acres of outdoor storage space. The clear heights range from 20 to 24 feet.
Both of the former R&S Steel sites offer direct rail access: the Joliet Street property connects to the Union Pacific railway, and the Clermont Street site connects to the BNSF.
"Rail access is particularly relevant to industries who rely on materials supply, like construction. Most building materials arrive via rail, including lumber, steel, rebar and concrete components. For companies not located along a rail line, they have to pay for more expensive methods of transportation, driving up their overall costs. In a market like Denver, where our development is being stymied by rising construction costs, any tactic suppliers can take to reduce costs has the potential to create a huge competitive advantage," added Mr. Witty.