Building Out Carlsbad’s Industrial Base
The Techbilt Companies
“Like anything, real estate is cyclical. Right now, it’s as strong as I’ve ever seen it in my career,” Tchang said. “As the Carlsbad market has matured, we’ve seen the average business size increase. While the multi-tenant, small tenant space market is still very strong, we see the majority of the companies out there are looking in the larger size range than what we used to see, say 20 years ago.”
First up on Techbilt’s construction list is Evolve, a three-building project totaling 67,714 square feet in the Oaks North Industrial Park, with construction expected to be finished in 16 to 18 months.
“I guess you could say it’s a high-end flex building,” Tchang said. “We can accommodate everything from a light industrial manufacturing operation to a (company) headquarters.”
Evolve is designed for life science, newer technology and research and development companies, according to Tchang.
That will be followed by construction of a 145,000-square-foot industrial building, with delivery planned in 24 to 30 months, and then a two-building project totaling 140,000 square feet.
Plans for that project could change, but construction is slated to finish in 24 to 30 months.
The new development comes after Techbilt in January leased a 63,900-square-foot building at 2820 Loker Ave.
Absorption Systems, a pharmaceutical company based in Pennsylvania, signed a 10-year lease on the building for $11.5 million.
Called Pinnacle, the building leased by Absorption Systems was built by Techbilt in 2018.
Part of the delay in leasing the building was caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, but Tchang said Techbilt also was “looking for the right fit.”
“Pretty much all the industrial buildings that I build, the plan is I’m going to hang onto them for a long time,” Tchang said.
Pinnacle was delivered to Absorption Systems in shell condition.
“They were able to get a brand new building that they could build out as they wanted,” Tchang said.
In addition to interior tenant improvements, Absorption Systems is adding 16,000 square feet to the second floor of Pinnacle, bringing the final product to 79,900 square feet.
Techbilt has built and still owns 20 buildings, mostly in Poway.
Tchang said he expects little trouble in leasing the new buildings.
“We’ve seen strong demand all the way from our smaller, multi-tenant light industrial spaces onto the much higher finish life science buildings,” Tchang said. “Life science is growing as a percentage of the Carlsbad market and I would expect that to continue into the future.”
From 1988 to 2018, Techbilt constructed six buildings in Carlsbad’s Oak East Industrial Park, including Pinnacle.
The six new buildings will be in Oaks North Industrial Park. Techbilt is the master developer of Oaks North, Oaks East, and Oaks West industrial parks, all of which are in the greater Carlsbad Business Park to the north and south of Palomar Airport Road.
“They’re building into this tight market,” said Boyle, who represented Techbilt on the Pinnacle lease along with Cynthia Carter and Ted Cuthbert of Colliers International.
“Our vacancy rate is exceptionally low. We’re about 3% countywide,” Boyle said. “I’ve been doing this for 14 years, maybe a little more than 15 years, I’ve never seen a market this tight before.”
“We’re kind of looking at probably over the next couple of years there’s going to be the last big development push for North County that we’re going to have.
The Techbilt Companies
Headquarters: Loma Portal
President and CEO: Ted Tchang
Business: commercial and residential development
Notable: Techbilt has built and leased or sold more than 800,000 square feet of industrial and office space and completed nearly 10,000 homes.