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About us

Company Overview

Watson Land Company is a developer, owner, and manager of industrial properties throughout Southern California and the East Coast.

With a century of success as our legacy, Watson’s dedication to its customers is based upon delivering functional, high quality buildings within masterplanned centers, coupled with unmatched customer service.

Watson was the first industrial developer in Southern California to design and construct speculative industrial buildings in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) guidelines.

Watson’s assets and operations are backed by one of the most conservatively managed balance sheets in the real estate industry. Unlike public companies whose capital raising capacity is subject to market cycles or smaller developers who are vulnerable to credit crunches, Watson’s stable financial resources enable the Company to fund projects regardless of external market forces.

Watson Land Company’s long standing tradition of integrity, innovation, and fiscal responsibility has made it one of the region’s most respected names in commercial real estate and one of the largest industrial developers in the nation.

Meet The Teams

Marketing and Leasing

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Asset Management

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Development and Acquistions

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Public Affairs

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Finance

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Legal

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Construction

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Executive Bios

Bob has served on the Board of Directors for over 22 years and as Chairman of Watson Land Company for seventeen years. He received his BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and his JD from the University of San Diego. With a legal practice focusing on real estate, construction...

Bob HustonChairman
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Jeffrey Jennison is the President and CEO of Watson Land Company, a developer, owner, and manager of industrial properties throughout Southern California and the East Coast. Jeff joined Watson Land Company in 2000, serving as the Vice President of Asset Management and Chief...

Jeff JennisonPresident & CEO
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As Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Bradley Frazier oversees Watson’s Human Resources and Public Affairs departments and manages the company’s legal affairs.

Bradley received his BA from the University of Washington and his JD from the UCLA School of Law...

Brad FrazierExecutive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel
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As Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Kirk Johnson is responsible for the deployment of capital and oversees the Acquisition, Disposition, Entitlement, Planning, and Construction teams and he has been with Watson Land Company since 1997...

Kirk JohnsonExecutive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer
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As Chief Financial Officer, Roger von Ting manages lender relationships, procures insurance, and handles the financial reporting and accounting of Watson Land Company. A certified public accountant (inactive), Roger joined Watson’s financial department in 1994 and previously...

Roger von TingExecutive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
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Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lance Ryan has been with Watson Land Company since 1997. He oversees Asset Management, property management, customer service, leasing & marketing...

Lance RyanExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
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With his considerable experience in the Southern California industrial real estate market, Craig Halverson uses his knowledge of acquisition and development to strategically expand Watson’s portfolio as Senior Vice President of Real Estate...

Craig HalversonSenior Vice President, Real Estate Development
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As Vice President of Public Affairs, Trini M. Jimenez serves as an advocate for Watson Land Company and its customers. Trini is the liaison to local government and the communities in which Watson has a presence.  With over twenty years of successful advocacy experience in both the private and public sectors, Trini engages...

Trini JimenezVice President, Public Affairs
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Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Pilar M. Hoyos serves as the advocate of Watson Land Company and its customers. In the cities in which Watson has a presence, Pilar is the liaison to the local government and community members. With thirty years of experience...

Pilar HoyosSenior Vice President, Public Affairs
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Matt Marfice joined the Watson team in 1998 holding various positions within the Financial Department. As Senior Vice President, Controller, Matt is responsible for Watson’s financial planning and reporting, accounting activities such as income and property...

Matt MarficeSenior Vice President, Controller
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Bob Huston, Chairman
Jeff Jennison, President & CEO
Brad Frazier, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel
Kirk Johnson, Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer
Roger von Ting, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Lance Ryan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Craig Halverson, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Development
Trini Jimenez, Vice President, Public Affairs
Pilar Hoyos, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
Matt Marfice, Senior Vice President, Controller

Watson Land Company provides your business with a full compliment of real estate services supported by a veteran team of senior managers who are available and accessible to you.

Historical Timeline

The future starts here

Watson Land Company’s rich history reaches back more than 200 years to the Rancho San Pedro, the first land grant given to a private citizen in California.

In 1784, king Carlos III of Spain granted the 75,000 acre Rancho San Pedro tract to Spanish soldier Juan José Dominguez. Today’s communities of San Pedro, Harbor City, Wilmington,…

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MoreThe Dominguez Rancho Adobe, originally the home of Juan José Dominguez and later of Manuel Dominguez. Now the 17 acre site houses a museum maintained by…

The Rancho passed from Juan José Dominguez in 1809 to his nephew Cristóbal Dominguez, who in turn willed the land to his three sons in 1822. The eldest son, manuel Dominguez, is credited with the development of the Rancho. He built the Dominguez Rancho Adobe as the Rancho headquarters above the Los Angeles River floodplain…

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Don Manuel Dominguez (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

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Home of Manuel Dominguez, about 1890 (California Legacy: The Watson Family by Grenier)

Manuel Dominguez was married to maría engracia Cota, the daughter of Rancho Los Cerritos’ owner Guillermoa Cota. upon manuel’s death in 1882 and the passing of his wife one year later, the Rancho San Pedro lands were partitioned among his six surviving children—all daughters.

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Home of the Dominguez sisters (California State University, Dominquez Hills)

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The six daughters of Manuel and Maria Dominguez (California State University, Dominquez Hills)

Manuel’s daughter Maria Dolores Dominguez married lawyer James Alexander Watson in 1855. Their marriage marked the first step of the creation of Watson Land Company.

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Maria Dolores Dominguez de Watson and James Alexander Watson (California Legacy: The Watson Family by Grenier)

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Dominguez family in front of old homesite, 1897 (California Legacy: The Watson Family by Grenier)

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Partition of the Estate of Manuel Dominguez, 1885 (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

The Unfolding of a century of development

Southern California rancheros struggled in the mid-1800s. In 1848, mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe and ceded California to the united States. This gave the u.S. government authority over the mexican rancheros. With California threatening their property rights, owners were forced to pay exorbitant legal fees to defend their titles. many were forced to mortgage…

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Grain threshing crew, around 1905 (Photo from Watson Land Company historical files)

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Hauling grain on the Rancho San Pedro, 1904 (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

Manuel Dominguez was not untouched by these hardships. In 1855 he offered his share of Rancho San Pedro as collateral to secure a $12,000 loan from Benjamin Richardson. Dominguez, unlike many other unlucky rancheros who lost their land to foreclosure, was able to repay the loan 10 months later. Dominguez supplemented his cattle business with…

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Rancho San Pedro dairy operations, 1902 (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

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Threshing grain on the Rancho San Pedro, 1904 (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

The Watsons

Manuel Dominguez’s success in obtaining a u.S. land patent marked his dedication to the Rancho San Pedro. By the time of his death, the Rancho’s original 75,000 acres had been reduced to 27,500 acres as a result of sales and concessions. In 1885 a court-ordered partition divided the land between his six daughters. The Watson…

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(California State University, Dominquez Hills)

MoreDominguez Junction south of the ranch house, where the electric lines separated for tracks to San Pedro and Long Beach. (California State University, Dominquez Hills)

Over the years, the company strengthened its financial foundation with a combination of sales and leases of the land. But even as it sought to increase its income, the directors of Watson Land Company remained dedicated to holding on to the land.

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MoreWatson family at wedding reception on Oct. 25, 1911, for Lavena Watson and Harlie Brown at the Watson home on Orange Grove in Pasadena. (California Legacy:…

Flying High

The Rancho San Pedro became a part of aviation history in 1910 thanks to Dr. Gregorio Del Amo, husband of Susana Dominguez. While the aviation industry was still in its infancy, Glenn Curtiss and other prominent aviators sought to draw attention to aviation’s vast potential. They chose Dominguez Hill as the ideal spot for an…

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(The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

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International Aviation Meet on Dominguez Hill, 1910, with the Dominguez sisters in the front row. (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

The Los Angeles Times hailed the meet as one of the greatest public spectacles of its time. This was the first opportunity for people on the West Coast to see an airplane in flight. Aviation pioneers such as William Boeing attended and were inspired to develop the aviation industry in Southern California, all as a…

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The 100th anniversary of the 1910 International Aviation Meet was celebrated at the Dominguez Rancho Adobe on June 12, 2012. (California State University, Dominguez Hills)

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Glenn Curtiss and William Randolph Hearst in flight (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

Rancho San Pedro dairy operations, 1902 (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

Ratione vero, illum placeat, eligendi reiciendis rem quo. Molestias, ipsa possimus perferendis exercitationem ea similique nisi.

Sequi molestias iusto tempore consequuntur neque deserunt, inventore cumque autem ipsam facere, laborum tenetur quasi mollitia, sit at esse similique asperiores minima.

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MoreDominguez Junction south of the ranch house, where the electric lines separated for tracks to San Pedro and Long Beach.(California State University, Dominquez Hills) Lorem ipsum…

Oil Production

In 1922, California was estimated to be producing a quarter of the world’s oil supply, and the lands of Rancho San Pedro were highly sought after by oil companies looking to drill for oil and build refineries. The Watsons capitalized on the oil frenzy, selling tracts of the Rancho to become debt free and financially…

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(California State University, Dominguez Hills)

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One of the original oil wells on Dominguez Hill (California State University, Dominguez Hills)

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Dominguez Estate staff inspects oil operations on the Rancho; Robert Watson in the center, 1936. (California State University, Dominguez Hills)

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The Reyes oil gusher on Dominguez Hill, 1924 (The Rancho San Pedro by Gillingham)

The Master plan

During the two decades of the 1950s and 1960s, Los Angeles County underwent significant population and industrial growth; the landscape was dramatically transformed from a rural to an urban area. In response to Southern California’s economic boom, Watson Land Company shifted its focus to real estate development. Watson’s goal was to provide high quality buildings…

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An early artistic rendering of the masterplanned environment. San Diego (405) Freeway is shown in the background.

The Infrastructure

In 1966, Watson Land Company undertook the construction of a highly efficient water system to serve the Watson Industrial Center location. The water system would not only serve the needs of Watson Industrial Center, but could also supply up to an additional 5,000 gallons of water per minute for fire fighters. To install the mile-long…

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(Watson Land Company Newsletter)

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(Watson Land Company Newsletter)

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(Watson Land Company Newsletter)

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(Watson Land Company Newsletter)

The Dedication

As part of a dedication ceremony for the Watson Industrial Center in may of 1966, President William T. Huston of Watson Land Company and Los Angeles County Supervisor Burton Chace placed bronze seals of the Watson Industrial Center and the County of Los Angeles in a street side monument. Taking place on the 182nd anniversary…

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Bill Huston (left) and Hugh Arnold (right), who had a 40 year long association with the Watson Land Company. (Watson Land Company Newsletter)

MoreTouring five newly paved streets in the Center were (from the left) Los Angeles County Supervisor Burton Chase, Consul General of Spain Eduardo Toda, Mrs. Virginia…
MoreDedication of the Watson Industrial Center on March 24, 1966, with flags of Spain and the United States and a speech by the Spanish consul general.…
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From left to right: Burton Chace and Bill Huston with his daughter, Helen (Huston) Zieman, a future board member. (Watson Land Company Newsletter)

Open For Business

Watson Industrial Center grew three times faster than projected in its first year of operations. First to lease from Watson were the Cormier Chevrolet Company and the La Fleur Corporation, an affiliate of Douglas Aircraft Company. Watson Land Company continued to develop land to add to the industrial center as the demand for industrial space…

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(Watson Land Company Newsletter)

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Mercedes-Benz facility at Watson Industria Center in 1969

MoreFrom left: Cliff Nelson, Watson marketing director; Jim Marooney, Mercedes-Benz zone manager in charge of the new facility; Dick Cogswell, general manager of field operations for…
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Jack McGowen, president of Douglas Aircraft Company (left), and Bill Huston, president of Watson Land Company (right), 1970 (Watson Land Company Newsletter)

Watson Corporate Center

Originally named Watson Office Plaza in 1982, Watson Corporate Center evolved from its conception as a low rise office park into a 113 acre masterplanned industrial center. The center features Watson’s Legacy Building SeriesSM and LeeD certified construction, which together set the center apart as a highly sustainable, architecturally innovative development. The flexible building designs…

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(Watson Land Company Newsletter)

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(Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

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(Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

With over 2 million square feet of buildings, Watson Corporate Center is home to a compatible mix of manufacturing, distribution, and corporate office facilities. The center is both highly customizable and environmentally friendly, as a result of Watson’s forward thinking designs and sustainable development practices.

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(Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

DOMINGUEZ TeCHnOLOGY CENTER

Dominguez Technology Center is a 438 acre masterplanned center located in Carson and Rancho Dominguez, California. The center is situated on the land that served as the site for the 1910 International Aviation meet. The interior streets of Dominguez Technology Center were named in honor of the aviation pioneers who participated in that historic event.

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(Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

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Watson breaks ground on the second phase of Dominguez Technology Center in 1999. (Watson Land Company Newsletter)

Until the development of Dominguez Technology Center, the land was a significant production site for Dominguez energy, an oil production company formed by Watson Land Company and its partners. Over 200 oil wells were plugged and sealed to make way for the streets, curbs, infrastructure, and buildings in Dominguez Technology Center.

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(California State University, Dominquez Hills)

Watson Land Company owns and manages 20 Legacy Buildings that it has developed in Dominguez Technology Center, with nearly 3 million square feet of total space.

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(Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

Renovations

In 2005, Watson rolled out a comprehensive renovation program, updating the storefronts and improving functionality throughout the Watson South Bay portfolio of over 11 million square feet.

Adopting many Legacy BuildingSM features, renovation designs were developed for buildings that were 30 and 40 years old, introducing modern architectural features and elements of green design that didn’t…

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Building 125: Before (Photo by Kawashima Photography)

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Building 125: after (Photo by Kawashima Photography)

As part of the renovation program, functional improvements include replacing outdated fire sprinkler systems, increasing truck loading doors, and expanding the turning radius to boost parking capacity and improve maneuvering.

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Building 130: before (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

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Building 130: after (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

Watson Land Company has continued to expand its portfolio since its first industrial development almost 50 years ago. With a commitment to grow with its customers, Watson has successfully entered new markets through land and building acquisitions, with a focus on developing Legacy BuildingsSM within large, masterplanned industrial centers.

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Redlands construction (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

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Watson Commerce Center Redlands (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

In 2004, Watson Land Company began the construction of Watson Commerce Center Fontana as part of its growth strategy beyond the original Rancho San Pedro land. With the strong success of its Legacy Building SeriesSM in the South Bay area, Watson brought its brand of industrial development and customer service to the Inland empire area…

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Watson Commerce Center Fontana (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc)

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Watson Commerce Center Chino groundbreaking (Photo by Kawashima Photography)

Development of the nature’s Best distribution facility launched the 1.4 million square foot Watson Commerce Center Chino in 2007. nature’s Best chose the 400,000 square foot speculative building to accommodate high cube storage of refrigerated and dry food products. Watson modified the building during the construction process to increase the warehouse clearance height to 36…

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Watson Commerce Center Fontana (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

Kenco Logistics was the first customer at Watson Commerce Center Redlands in 2009. The masterplanned center will be over 2 million square feet upon full build out. All buildings have been designed and constructed for LeeD certification. Features such as extensive use of clerestory windows and abundant warehouse skylights not only reduce utility costs, but…

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Kenco Logistics’ 500,000 square foot distribution center at Watson Commerce Center Redlands (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

With close to 4 million square feet of finished buildings in the Inland empire and additional land inventory sufficient to accommodate many more buildings, Watson continues to successfully diversify its holdings well beyond the Rancho San Pedro. Watson is constantly introducing its unique brand to a whole new customer base.

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Legacy Building (265,000 square feet) in the Watson Commerce Center Chino (Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

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Watson Commerce Center Redlands (Photo by Low Altitude Blimp Photography)

Watson Today

Rooted in California’s first Spanish land grant, Watson Land Company has evolved from its agricultural beginnings to become a premier developer, owner, and manager of masterplanned industrial centers. now, Watson’s commitment to its historical roots remains firm as it maintains its tradition of putting its customers and communities it serves first.

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(Photo by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

With a vision of developing industrial buildings within a masterplanned setting, Watson began to design and construct one of the first masterplanned industrial centers 50 years ago on the Rancho San Pedro land grant. This spirit of innovation has remained a hallmark of Watson’s development as reflected in its introduction of the Legacy Building SeriesSM…

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Watson Corporate Office within Watson Corporate Center Carson, 2012 (Photos by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

Watson’s corporate headquarters exemplifies the company’s focus on innovation and the environment. Completed in 2010, the building was awarded LeeD Platinum certification by the u.S. Green Building Council, the highest level of achievement in sustainable development.

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Interior lobby (Photos by Cristi D. Costea Photography, Inc.)

Watson was the first developer in Southern California to design and construct speculative industrial buildings in accordance with the u.S. Green Building Council’s LeeD guidelines. With several million square feet of LeeD certified industrial buildings developed, Watson has delivered on its original mission to be a good steward of the Rancho San Pedro land grant…

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Watson Commerce Center Chino (Photo by Daniel Esgro Photography)

Watson Land Company partners with Jandil Land Company to bring the same quality of product and services to their clients on the East Coast.

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Rancho San Pedro
Development Boom
Growth
Expansion
Renovations
Watson Land Company Today