Tiger Cool Express has taken a major step toward the development of Tiger Tri-Cities Logistics Center in Wallula, Wash., by inking a deal with Union Pacific Railroad. Tiger, a temperature-controlled intermodal transportation services provider, signed a lease/purchase agreement to acquire an industrial property that will host a new 200,000-square-foot facility.
Plans for the purchase of the site, which currently features a warehouse and a 2-mile rail loop track, have been in the works for quite some time. In October 2021, Tiger expressed the intent to acquire the location, which had previously served as home to Cold Connect.
READ ALSO: How CRE Boosts the Economy: NAIOP
Sited in southern Washington along Highway 12, the property currently features a warehouse, but will be transformed into a modern logistics destination at the hands of Tiger. The company’s concept for the asset includes an approximately 200,000-square-foot facility encompassing 130,000 square feet of refrigerated storage. Additionally, Tiger will develop a private intermodal ramp.
Tiger Cool contends that the Tri-Cities area, which constitutes the Kennewick-Pasco-Richland MSA, is growing in status in the logistics arena, and fundamentals support the assertion. A tiny market with roughly 11 million square feet of industrial inventory, the Tri-Cities boasts a vacancy rate that continues to hover near historic lows at 2.5 percent, according to research prepared by valuation firm Fred C. Strickland & Associates LLC on behalf of the Port of Benton in September 2022. Furthermore, the market has welcomed only approximately 180,000 square feet of new supply within the past three years.
Theodore Prince, co-founder & chief strategy officer of Tiger Cool Express, said in prepared remarks that the Tri-Cities area had land, labor, water and electricity that could make it a global logistics hub, being similar to the Inland Empire 30 years ago. Southern California’s Inland Empire recorded a vacancy rate of 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report.
Tiger Tri-Cities Logistics Center is in the very earliest of planning stages; however, Tiger expects the facility’s scope of service to eventually expand into other markets, namely the Interstate 5 Corridor as well as Mexico. Meanwhile, the U.S. industrial market remains robust.