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Building Out Carlsbad’s Industrial Base

The Techbilt Companies, a family-owned commercial real estate and housing developer based in Loma Portal, is starting a series of construction projects that will cover much of the remaining industrial land in Carlsbad.

“There are a few places here and there, but there’s not very much left,” said Ted Tchang, president and CEO of Techbilt.

“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.”

High-End Campus

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.

“It’s going to be a really high-quality, high-end campus with indoor/outdoor space where you can work inside or go outside and sit in the open air and work on your laptop,” said Conor Boyle, a senior vice president of the commercial real estate brokerage Colliers International.


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.

Pinnacle Leased

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.

Tight Demand

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.

Tight Market

“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.
 Then we transition into more of an infill market like you see in L.A. That’s part of the story for Techbilt.”

The Techbilt Companies
Founded: 1958
Headquarters: Loma Portal
President and CEO: Ted Tchang
Business: commercial and residential development
Employees: 16
Contact: 619-223-1663
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.



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Related Experts

Conor Boyle

Senior Vice President


Conor Boyle is a Vice President with Colliers International, specializing in Industrial/R&D leasing and sales in North San Diego County.  Conor has nine years of experience in the commercial real estate industry and is currently responsible for the leasing and/or sale of over 1,000,000 square feet of property in North San Diego County.

Prior to working in commercial real estate, Conor was an officer in the United States Army and achieved the rank of Captain before leaving the Service.  Conor served two Tours of Duty in Iraq, including one as a tank Platoon Leader in Baghdad.

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Cynthia Carter

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I am a licensed real estate salesperson and joined Colliers International in 2015 after moving from the east coast in search of my life's next great adventure. I specialize in leasing and marketing industrial and office properties for lease and for sale in Poway, and I also work on select industrial projects in Carlsbad.  Prior to my move to San Diego, I emersed myself in my work for Simon and Schuster, one of the largest book publishers, for nine years. My prior role as Contact Center Supervisor, primarily resolving and monitoring B2B  transactions for some of the industries largest clients,  ingrained within me the importance of truly understanding each client's business needs.  I am tuned into the impacts of each transaction,  no matter the size, and the importance of a solid strategy and a well-considered response. 

I work with a  talented team of top-producing brokers whose specialities range from industrial leasing and sales and land sales to office leasing and sales, from the I-15 Corridor to the North County San Diego coastal markets.  When I finally pull myself away from my work, I rush home to my far-too-patient husband, John, our one year-old daughter, Juniper, and our Boston terrier pup.

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Tyler Stemley

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Jack Blumenfeld


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