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Industrial project in Lakeside to provide 1.4 million square feet of space

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Hamann Cos. of El Cajon is in the midst of planning about 100 acres that will yield nearly 1.4 million square feet of industrial space in Lakeside.

The former sand and gravel property borders the city of Santee and lies along both sides of Riverford Road near where Highway 52 will eventually hook up with state Route 67.

What is known as River Run East (East) will have approximately 170,000 square feet in three buildings of 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 square feet. Now under construction, completion is expected by the end of the year. The developer reports East is 40 percent preleased. Tenants include Nature's First Law -- a health food distributor -- Metals USA and Carlton Cabinets.

East is just part of the story. Plans are about a year away from final approvals for the bulk of the 90-acre River Run West development. It is expected to yield no less than 1.2 million square feet of what Hamann officials note is some badly needed industrial space for the central county. About 200,000 square feet of the roughly 1.2 million-square-foot River Run West project was completed two years ago, but the remaining buildings aren't slated to come out of the ground for another year.

Hamann and landowner Lakeside Land Co. have controlled the property since the mid-1990s. They have spent more than $10 million to re-channel the San Diego River as well as plant about 10,000 trees to re-vegetate the riverbank that had been compromised as a result of the old sand and gravel operation.

Although the bulk of River Run West is more than a year away, Hamann principal Gregg Hamann conceives of the plan as a design/build type venture. He emphasized that none of the properties will be for sale. Hamann said some speculative space might be built for lease as well, but that no decision has been made. Ken Smith & Associates Architects of San Diego is the project architect.

Whether the space is speculative or not, both Hamann and Ross Grano of Hamann Properties Inc., the company's brokerage arm, said there is a huge demand for industrial space in this part of the county that hasn't seen much industrial construction lately.

"You look at Kearny Mesa, Poway, Miramar, Sorrento Mesa -- there's no industrial land, or if there is, it's so expensive you can't put industrial on it," Grano said.

Grano, who noted the industrial vacancy in the central county is about only 4 percent including obsolete space, said this will be the largest new industrial project in the area. While the Ryan Cos. 1.9 million-square-foot RiverView project in Santee is larger, that property is expected to focus on office development.

"San Diego is running out of industrial land and is losing manufacturing jobs because of it. We (Hamann) can still deliver industrial buildings," Grano said.

It may have taken Hamann a long time to bring the River Run development to this point, but it would have had plenty to keep it busy even without the Lakeside developments.

Hamann continues to be active on both the development and the general contracting side in projects from Otay Mesa to Oceanside as well as the East County. To the north, for example, Hamann Construction built Ashworth's 200,000-square-foot golf apparel distribution facility in Ocean Ranch.

At the south end of the county Hamann Construction constructed numerous buildings within the Brown Field Business park on Otay Mesa.

Hamann entities have reportedly developed and built more than 50 million square feet of commercial and industrial space. Along with development and general and specialized contracting (such as electrical work) and brokerage, Hamann is also involved in property management.

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