The city of Simi Valley has launched a Web site that offers developers, prospective tenants or buyers and brokers a sort of one-stop shop for searching available properties in the city. SimiValleyProspector.com will not only tell visitors about the zoning and specific plan guidelines that apply for a property, it will also provide parcel maps, aerial photographs, competitive information and demographic data to anyone exploring locating in the area. Simi Valley officials, who unveiled the site recently at an open house sponsored by First American Title Co. and CB Richard Ellis, are seeking to link it to broker sites that would offer information about properties available. “You can put in square footage and the type of property (you are searching for) and all the information brokers post will pop up,” said James Purtee, deputy city manager for Simi Valley. “At the same time, you can get all the information on nearby properties, zoning and anything else you need.” Along with the broker listings, the site would allow a business seeking to locate or expand in the area to access all the information necessary for decision making. Let’s say a retailer was exploring a new location in the area. The site would provide properties of the size requested and link to information about business taxes, zoning and other use-related regulations. In addition, the retailer could request demographic information such as the household income, age and education of residents in the surrounding area and get a listing of the other types of retailers operating within the same area. Purtee and Simi Valley Director of Economic Development Brian Paul Gabler noted that in Rancho Cucamonga retail vacancies were reduced by 44 percent using a similar web site format. Currently commercial vacancies in Simi Valley are very low, but officials said they decided to implement the service because it would make the city more attractive to potential businesses, both now and in the future should the economy take a nose dive. “The better we can get information out about Simi Valley and what is available the better our community will be,” said Gabler. “If brokers fill up their leases and keep their clients happy then they’re successful. If we’re able to fill up empty buildings and bring in new employment opportunities to the community then we’re successful.” Gabler added that about 25 brokers asked to link to the site based on the recent presentation alone. “We’re providing another tool for executives to gather information on relocation, for brokerage to market properties and for the general public to better understand Simi Valley,” Gabler added. Van Nuys Center Action The groundbreaking for the second phase of Van Nuys Center at The Plant is still two to three months away, but already the developers are close to deals for more than half of the 26-acre project. It looks like Zodax, a decorative home accessories distributor that already occupies a 100,000 square foot facility in the first phase of the Panorama City industrial park, will contract for a 200,000-square-foot build to suit in the new phase. And Veratex, a bedding manufacturer that is also located in the park’s first phase, will contract for a 100,000-square-foot building, said Tim Regan, vice president for development and acquisitions for Voit Development Co., which is developing the property with Selleck Development Group. If the deals close as expected a 200,000-square-foot existing building on the site and two planned speculative buildings of about 17,000 square feet will remain for lease or sale, Regan said. The developers are still weighing their options with respect to the existing building, which sits on about 11 acres. “There’s a lot of interest in its current configuration,” Regan said. “There are people interested in leasing and buying, and there’s interest in the 11 acres,” Regan said. The site is the former home of GM, which closed most of its operations there in the 1980s. All but the remaining 26 acres were sold to the Voit and Selleck partnership in the 1990s, and more recently, GM closed down its remaining operation and sold off the rest of the property. Zodax officials confirmed that the company was in talks for a build to suit on the property. “We’re in the very preliminary stages,” said Phil Cohanim, president of Zodax. Zodax recently acquired a 200,000-square-foot building in Cascades Business Park for a reported $16.5 million. The company had initially planned to occupy one-half the property, but later changed plans. “The acquisition took a long time,” said Cohanim. “In the process my needs changed. Then I found a smaller facility in San Fernando and went into that facility, so the Cascades building is more of an investment rather than for our use.” The company expects to lease out the half of the building it had initially intended to occupy in the Cascades. Jerry Scullin and David Hoffberg, brokers with Delphi Business Properties, are representing Zodax in the acquisitions and marketing the Cascades space. Valley Village Sale A 125,000-square-foot office building in Valley Village has sold for more than $17.6 million. The property, at 12020 Chandler Boulevard, is currently occupied by the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services and Film Roman. Stacy Vierheilig Fraser, senior managing director at Charles Dunn Co., represented the seller, Metcalf Family Trust. The buyer, Chandler Corners LLC, was represented by Albert Shilton, also with Dunn.