Warehousing & Logistics

Stellar Finishes Design-Build Project for Lineage Outside Los Angeles

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Stellar has completed construction of two refrigerated distribution warehouses for Lineage Logistics five miles south of Los Angeles in Vernon, California. The adjoining facilities, featuring 200,000 square feet of storage and office space, originated as one cold storage building that Lineage acquired.

Jacksonville, Florida-headquartered Stellar approached the $49.4 million design-build project in two phases, demolishing half of the original facility and rebuilding it as Lineage’s “Area 8” facility. Once phase one wrapped up and the site became operational, the second half of the building was converted into the new “Area 7” facility.

“Not only was the original warehouse half a century old and in need of upgrades, but its layout didn’t meet Lineage’s needs,” said Mike Smith, Stellar’s vice president of operations. “These new facilities provide a lot more capabilities, create additional storage space and allow for increased productivity.”

The​ two distribution coldstores are mirror images of each other in terms of layout. Each features refrigerated loading docks, a freezer warehouse, an underground parking garage, traditional storage racking as well as Tippmann racking with a blast freeze system, and two stories of office space.

The freezer in the Area 8 facility consists of two separate “convertible rooms” that can fluctuate temperature depending on the product being stored. The two buildings are connected by a cross-aisle area that houses various maintenance rooms, rest rooms, workshops, and electrical and fire pump rooms.

“Tackling a project of this magnitude in the heart of the busy and crowded Los Angeles metro area proved to be a unique challenge,” said Thomas Ansell, assistant project manager at Stellar. “The site is surrounded by railroad tracks, two busy streets and other industrial buildings. Since we didn’t have lay down area to store materials, trailers and equipment, we had to strategically time deliveries to arrive exactly when needed. Plus, the industrial steel had to be installed in several phases.”

Exteriors of the two structures are mainly comprised of insulated metal panel (IMP) walls, but one wall was only three feet away from a neighboring building, meaning it had to be a firewall to comply with code requirements.

“We had to use concrete tilt-up panels for that wall, which is unusual, especially given the size of the facility,” said Ansell. “These were the largest concrete panels Stellar has ever constructed, with each wall panel measuring approximately 67.5 feet tall, 24 feet wide and more than a foot thick.”

Phase one of the job began in April of 2017 and was completed in July of 2018. Phase two started in September of 2018 and was finished in late October of 2019.

Stellar, a fully integrated design, engineering, construction and mechanical services firm with extensive experience designing and building refrigerated warehouses and distribution facilities, has now completed two major projects for Lineage.