NEWSWATCH

Mercedes-Benz USA Makes Major Commitment To Long Beach
Signs Long-Term Lease For Boeing’s Former 717 Plant

By Tiffany L. Rider - Assistant Editor

July 16th, 2013 – In what is being touted as the largest lease of industrial space in Los Angeles County in more than a quarter century, Mercedes-Benz USA has signed a long-term contract with Sares-Regis for the huge site that The Boeing Company once used to produce 717 commercial aircraft.

The announcement on July 8 is a milestone for the city, recognized by the mayor and city councilmembers. “I am delighted Mercedes-Benz selected Long Beach and has re-imagined the former 717 site into a state-of-the-art facility that will complement the Douglas Park development underway across the street,” Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said in a statement.

Councilmembers issued statements to constituents about the lease, including one message from 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske’s office that indicated the deal could “bring needed jobs and property tax revenue” to the city. Vice Mayor and 1st District Councilmember Robert Garcia said in an e-mail to constituents that the Mercedes-Benz USA lease “is a game changer for Long Beach.”

Boeing vacated the 1,091,754-square-foot facility at 4501 E. Conant St., across from Douglas Park, in 2006. Since then, other companies have looked at the 52.2-acre site as a possible movie studio and as an electric vehicle facility.

According to Mercedez-Benz USA spokesperson Mariella Kapsaskis, “The site is part of continual efforts to improve our regional business operations throughout the U.S. and better service our customers.” No details have been revealed as to the planned use of the facility, nor has a move-in date been announced.

“This is the largest infill industrial lease in the Los Angeles area in more than 25 years – to be able to replicate this kind of opportunity would be virtually impossible,” John Schumacher, executive vice president with CBRE, Inc.’s South Bay Los Angeles office, said in a statement. He and CBRE’s Brian DeRevere represented Sares-Regis in arranging the deal with Mercedes Benz. “It’s unlikely that we’ll see another opportunity for a contiguous parcel with these kinds of improvements within a 20-mile radius of the ports in the foreseeable future.”

CBRE would not disclose the length of the lease, other than saying it is “long term.”