Dave Torres, founder of real estate company Oso Negro Capital and partner in Northern Industrial Investments, has been struggling to find industrial properties in Rio Rancho. So, he decided to build his own.
The 15,715-square-foot warehouse at 924 Moccasin NE in Rio Rancho, which is expected to be ready in spring 2023, is Torres’ first industrial build. He’s working on the project with partner Brett Locke and general contractor Cultura Construction.
“I wanted to bring the market something new and functional to hopefully help fill the gap for industrial properties in Albuquerque,” Torres said.
Typically, the company buys existing buildings and finds tenants for them. But, the supply of industrial properties for sale is constricted.
“There’s just not much available,” Torres said. “And what’s available is generally second or third generation. The ceiling heights are a little lower, the layouts are unusual – and challenging.”
An August Colliers International report found that only 1.29% of industrial properties are vacant in Albuquerque. Prices are also rising, the report found, due to the high demand. Torres says that he recently leased a 7,500 square-foot property that never hit the open market, despite having three offers.
“It presents a real challenge for a lot of local businesses that want to move and grow,” Torres said. “They face a choice: They’d like to move, but there’s nowhere to move to.”
Torres said properties that are ready for tenants to move into are often leased before making it to the open market. However, supply chain issues have made many businesses resist moving into properties that need more work.
“Anything that is … move-in ready gets snapped up really quick,” Torres said. “Anything that is not market-ready, a lot of tenants are hesitant to pull the trigger.”
On a recent property, Oso Negro’s tenant had to wait several months for electrical parts to come in.
Those supply chain issues also impact new buildings. Torres said his team did analyses to ensure that their supply orders won’t bottleneck.
“It’s been a real challenge to get this project off the ground,” Torres said, citing delays in rezoning and finding architects and engineers for the project.
The build is designed to be flexible, so it can house many different types of businesses and support everything from storage to light manufacturing. The building was inspired by a project that a friend of Torres was building in Oklahoma City.
“We crunched the numbers and they made sense, and I thought it would be a good fit to bring to New Mexico,” Torres said.