Big Lots Sells Inland Empire Warehouse for $191M

The discount retailer is using a portion of the proceeds to purchase its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
A Big Lots location in California. Image via Google Street View

In a $191 million deal, discount retailer Big Lots has sold a 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse it has operated for 35 years in the Inland Empire. The company is reinvesting $69 million of the proceeds from the sale to purchase its corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, through a 1031 exchange.

Net proceeds of roughly $90 million will go toward paying down a portion of the outstanding balance on Big Lots’ unsecured line of credit. The buyer of the industrial facility was not disclosed.

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The company’s Executive Vice President Ronald Robins said in a statement that the sale will go toward continued investments that are part of Big Lots’ Operation North Star plan. The program entails the company testing a new, 500-square-foot experiential space at the front of its stores, where they will program a series of events intended to drive traffic and expand into new categories like apparel, according to Retail Info Systems.

Built in 1984, the industrial facility sits on nearly 70 acres in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in the Fontana submarket of the Inland Empire. Situated at 12434 4th St., the two-story, Class A development is zoned for heavy industrial and is located less than 1 mile from interstates 10 and 15.

New properties

Big Lots will move to a new distribution center in Apple Valley, Calif., in an area within the Mojave Desert. The upcoming 1.4 million-square-foot facility sits on 106 acres and is being designed to achieve LEED certification. Currently under construction, the property is scheduled for completion by the spring of 2020. It will feature advanced automation including an automatic storage retrieval system, robotic depalletizers, carton shuttles and carton sortation equipment. Big Lots will utilize the Rancho Cucamonga distribution center on a leaseback arrangement until the Apple Valley distribution center becomes fully operational.

The Big Lots headquarters in Columbus was completed last year by The Daimler Group and was one of the biggest office projects under construction in Ohio in 2018. The newly built property houses 300,000 square feet of Class A office space and features 1,200 parking spaces and a fitness center for its roughly 800 employees.