Real estate company builds its own industrial space in Rio Rancho

Dave Torres, founder of real estate firm Oso Negro Capital and partner at Northern Industrial Investments, is having trouble finding industrial real estate in Rio Rancho. So he decided to build his own.

The 15,715-square-foot warehouse at 924 Moccasin NE in Rio Rancho is scheduled for completion in spring 2023 and is Torres’ first industrial build. He is working on the project with his partner Brett Locke and general contractor Cultura Construction.

“We wanted to bring something new and functional to the market to help fill the gap in industrial real estate in Albuquerque,” Torres said.

Typically, the company buys existing buildings and finds tenants. However, the supply of industrial real estate for sale is limited.

“There are very few available,” says Torres. “And what’s available is generally second or third generation. The ceiling height is a little low and the layout is unusual and challenging.”

Only 1.29% of industrial real estate is vacant in Albuquerque, according to a Colliers International report in August. High demand is driving prices up, the report said. Torres recently leased a 7,500-square-foot property that never made it to the public market despite three offers.

“This is a big challenge for many local businesses wanting to relocate and grow,” said Torres. “They have a choice.

Torres said properties that are ready for tenants to move in are often leased before they hit the public market. However, supply chain issues have made many companies resist moving to real estate, which requires more work.

“Anything that’s ready for move-in, we’ll get to it right away,” Torres says. “Whatever the market isn’t ready for, many tenants are hesitant to pull the trigger.”

At a recent property, Oso Negro’s tenants had to wait months for electrical parts to arrive.

These supply chain issues also affect new buildings. Torres said his team performed analysis to ensure supply orders were not a bottleneck.

“It was really hard to get this project off the ground,” says Torres, citing delays in zoning the project and finding architects and engineers.

This build is designed to be flexible so it can accommodate different types of businesses and support everything from storage to light industry. The building was inspired by a project a friend of Torres’ was building in Oklahoma City.

“We worked out the numbers and thought they made sense and would be a good fit to bring to New Mexico,” Torres said.

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