There has been no damage reported to business and industrial complexes in the communities near Porter Ranch, site of the Saddleridge Fire, which erupted shortly before 10 p.m. on Thursday near the 210 freeway.
“(There) may be some under threat in Sylmar, but there is no industrial in Granada Hills or Porter Ranch – only homes and apartments, unfortunately,” said Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Jeff Abraham, who as a realtor with industrial property expertise is familiar with the terrain in that area.
As of 1 p.m. on Friday, Los Angeles Fire Department reported some 7,542 acres scorched and 13 percent containment. About 25 houses have burned in Porter Ranch, while a mandatory evacuation order had gone into effect for 25,000 homes in the area. The fire also occasioned closures for sections of the 118, 14 and 5 freeways.
Evacuation orders came late Thursday night for commercial zones in Porter Ranch.
“Basically, it was shut down,” Denis Wolcott, media spokesman for Shapell Properties, said of the developer’s The Vineyards at Porter Ranch, a mixed-use development at the intersection of Rinaldi Street and Porter Ranch Drive.
Earlier this year, the Vineyards began to roll out only part of its first of several phases. Construction crews are currently working to complete parts of the Vineyards project.
“When I got the update this morning, like everybody (in Porter Ranch), they had to evacuate,” Wolcott told the Business Journal. “The construction crew was not let in.”
While Wolcott reported no signs of physical damage to the property, the fire has already been “economically damaging,” as The Vineyards was forced to close a few of its retail offerings indefinitely, including a Whole Foods, Pete’s Coffee, Nordstrom’s and Vineyards Nail Spa.”
There is also a three-story Kaiser-Permanente medical office building that remained closed.
Wolcott noted that several of the competing commercial centers nearby, including Porter Ranch Town Center, which has a Starbucks, an Island’s and a Ralphs market, also closed.
Jheri Heetland, executive director of the Chatsworth/Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce, said businesses in the area were impacted simply because customers have limited access to stores and offices.
“It’s tough – all the freeways are closed and the smoke is horrendous,” Heetland told the Business Journal. “There are a lot of road blockages. … The smoke is unbearable.”
Although Pacoima is not far from where the blaze has been burning, Mikal Elliott, chief executive of the recently opened television production complex Quixote Studios, said that his production facilities have not been affected and business has not been shut down.
“It’s far enough away from us,” he told the Business Journal.
In terms of residential real estate development, Cindy Woodhead, a spokesperson for Canoga Park-based California Home Builders, said that the wildfire has not touched the Cabrillo Collection, which last year dedicated a 10,500-square-foot public park alongside its community of 84 units in Sylmar.
“The Cabrillo Collection is not, to our knowledge in the evac zone for Sylmar,” Woodhead told the Business Journal. “It is south of ‘ground zero.’
Woodhead said California Home Builders has been in touch with its projects during the situation.
“We’ve been tracking the fire and all of our past and present communities in Sylmar and surrounding areas and it appears as if they are all out of danger at this time,” she continued. “We stay in touch with our home owner associations, remain on one board and our customer service works closely with residents in these communities and if anything changes we keep in touch.”