NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – RealSource Group, a national commercial real estate brokerage company focused on retail, healthcare, automotive and education properties, announced today that the firm has been retained to exclusively list for sale the iconic Pilot Flying J Travel Center in Jurupa Valley, a city in the northwest corner of Riverside County, California. The offering is for an absolute triple-net Pilot Flying J ground lease, which operates a 15,500-square-foot travel center and fuel lanes on a sizeable 11.50-acre parcel. The asking price is $17,187,000.
According to RealSource Group’s Senior Vice President, Investment Sales, Austin Blodgett, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is expected to boost its ownership of Pilot, the nation’s biggest operator of truck stops and travel centers, to 80%. In 2017, Berkshire purchased 38.6% of Pilot and is set to acquire another 41.4% of the business early this year, according to news reports.
Pilot Flying J Travel Center is strategically located off State Route 60 (SR 60) with 185,000 cars per day and Interstate 15 with 155,000 cars per day, the main thoroughfare connecting the Inland Empire to surrounding cities. Built in 2019, Pilot Flying J has a large freeway-visible 50-foot pylon sign and sits at two hard corners (each exceeding 40,000 cars per day) at 11053 Riverside Drive in Jurupa Valley (formerly Mira Loma), which offers excellent ingress and egress with multiple entrances and exits for trucks and standard vehicles.
“The absolute triple-net corporately guaranteed ground lease by the largest travel center operator in North America offers a buyer the unique opportunity to acquire an 11.50-acre parcel ground leased to Pilot Flying J well below replacement cost,” Blodgett noted. “The residual land value of this site is unmatched. Looking at recent comps, you could conservatively sell this as vacant land for $53 price per square foot, which is over $26 million today and the value will continue to grow year over year. The property has multiple income streams, including 12 fueling lanes, a drive-thru Wendy’s, Cinnabon, PJ Fresh Marketplace convenience store, a Western Union, 107 truck parking spots plus 48 reserved parking spots, two ATMs, CAT-certified scales and nine on-site showers.”
Blodgett continues, “An absolute triple-net ground lease offers a buyer zero landlord responsibilities, which is extremely popular as investors look to simplify their holdings. Pilot Flying J has 15 years remaining of the initial lease term with four five-year options. Under the current lease terms, net operating income totals $687,496 with the July 2023 rent increase. Lease terms include 10% rental increases every five years.”
Pilot Travel Centers, Flying J Travel Plazas, and the One9 Fuel Network provide common gas station and truck stop amenities like gasoline and diesel fuel, but they also offer extensive fresh food options, clean restrooms and reservable showers, mobile fueling, and thousands of parking places for professional truck drivers, RV drivers, and auto drivers alike. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Company employs more than 28,000 people and serves more than 1.5 million guests daily at more than 800 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces.
The Pilot Flying J Travel Center is the only large format, full-service truck stop in the trade area and is a popular stop for truckers, commuters and travelers along Interstate 15 and SR 60, Blodgett noted. Furthermore, the region has a strong warehouse and distribution sector with new development. As of 2021, the warehouses of the Inland Empire accounted for more than a billion square feet exceeding 4,000 warehouses. Amazon is the Inland Empire’s largest employer. The company has invested $19.3 billion in the region and currently employs more than 40,000 people. Amazon’s largest warehouse is set to be completed in 2024, a five-story facility that will total more than 4 million square feet.
“There is over 86 million square feet of industrial space and a 1% average industrial vacancy within a three-mile radius of Pilot Flying J Travel Center,” said Blodgett. “National brand distribution warehouses, such as Amazon, Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, Petco and Baskin Robbins, are located within a five-mile radius of the property, plus there is 6.2 million square feet of industrial space under construction.”
According to Forbes, Pilot had $41.9 billion in revenue in 2022, services on average 1.5 million guests per day, and supplies 14 billion gallons of fuel annually. Pilot is ranked 5th on Forbes’ 2022 list of “America’s Largest Private Companies.”
Over the next three years, Pilot is investing $1 billion to renovate more than 400 Pilot and Flying J travel centers as part of its “New Horizons” initiative. The company has also partnered with GM and Volvo to construct EV charging stations coast-to-coast. The two partnerships will encompass charging networks for both passenger vehicles and Class 8 trucks.
The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked 2nd in the United States for “Best Location for Logistics & Distribution Centers,” 3rd most populous MSA in California, and 13th in the United States; also ranked 20th in the U.S. for gross domestic product. In addition, the population growth of the Inland Empire (which comprises of Riverside County and San Bernardino County) was ranked the 5th largest in the United States.
Pilot Flying J is 10 minutes from Ontario International Airport (ONT) and one hour from Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), John Wayne Airport (SNA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
“Today’s buyers are looking for rare investment opportunities that will weather economic ups and downs and this Pilot Flying J Travel Center is the ultimate generational investment,” said Blodgett. “For someone looking for long-term security with some huge, future upside, this is the property to have in your portfolio.”
About RealSource Group
RealSource Group, founded in 1991, is a national commercial real estate brokerage company that specializes in tenant representation, investment sales and sale-leaseback transactions. With the combination of RealSource’s leasing and sales experience, vast broker network, technology, unique processes, and national reach; RealSource delivers consistency, high production, quality service and measurable deal-making results for its clients on a nationwide platform. RealSource transacted over 900 commercial real estate deals nationwide, RealSource has perfected its platform through proven execution over the last 30 years.