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Controversial Porter Ranch Shopping Center Filling Up

After pickets and construction delays, the Porter Ranch Town Center finally seems to be coming together. Another three leases have been signed at the 520,000-square-foot shopping center, bringing the occupancy rate to about 90 percent, said Greg Whitney, a broker with CB Richard Ellis Inc., who with Allen Young represents the developer, Shapell Industries Inc. The latest leases to be signed include Longs Drug Stores, which will occupy a 23,500-square-foot space; Petco, a 15,000-square-foot tenant; and Jo’Ann Etc., which will occupy 45,000 square feet. Blockbuster Video is also expected to complete a lease for 4,100 square feet of space. The newest tenants will join Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, Best Buy, Sport Chalet and Ralphs. The earliest tenants, Toys ‘R’ Us and Best Buy, took occupancy in the third quarter of 1999. Porter Ranch Town Center had been fiercely opposed by neighborhood residents, who claimed they were promised an upscale shopping plaza that would include Nordstrom, only to learn later that Wal-Mart would anchor the complex. Scott Manclark, a broker with Cypress Retail Group, represented Longs in the Porter Ranch deal. Meanwhile, Longs, which until now has had only two stores in the Valley, also completed a lease deal in Studio City. The retailer will occupy a 17,000-square-foot site that has housed another drug store at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura boulevards. “Their lease was coming due, and we ended up doing a deal,” said Bob Walsh, a broker with Cypress Retail Group, which represented Longs in the Studio City lease. Walsh said the property drew a great deal of interest. “It’s very prominent real estate, and there were a lot of people looking at the site,” he said. Galleria Dining Most of the leases have not yet been signed, but the lineup for the Sherman Oaks Galleria appears to be complete. Il Fornaio, El Torito Grill and Cheesecake Factory are currently negotiating for space at the center, which is being renovated into an entertainment and office complex. When completed at the end of this year, the center is expected to be anchored by Tower Records and house a Pacific Theaters multiplex with 16 to 18 screens. Only the theater lease, however, is signed. Brokers associated with the project, which is being developed by Douglas Emmett Co., say the delays are not unusual and just part of the normal course of business. Homestore Gets Bigger Homestore.com, the online real estate broker, has added another 21,000 square feet of space at its offices in Thousand Oaks. The expansion, which brings the total occupied by the company to 73,000 square feet, is the third since Homestore.com took occupancy in the building in December 1998. Tom Festa at Grubb & Ellis Co. represented the building owner, Legacy Partners. Jim Lindvall, also with Grubb & Ellis, represented Homestore.com. More Conejo Action Irvine-based Legacy Partners has completed two other deals in the Conejo Valley area. Digital Island doubled its space to about 27,000 square feet at 225 West Hillcrest Drive in Thousand Oaks. Digital Island, the parent company of Sandpiper Networks, was represented by Aaron Wangenheim at Staubach Co. Tom Festa represented Legacy. Legacy also sold a 130,511-square-foot building in Westlake Village for $14.5 million. The three-story building at 2625 Townsgate Road was acquired by Pacifica Real Estate Group, a Santa Barbara-based private investment company. It was vacant at the time of the sale. Festa also represented Legacy in that transaction. Bri n Forster of Told Partners represented Pacifica. Apartment Complex Sold The Silvestre Family Trust has purchased a 46-unit apartment building in North Hollywood for $2.1 million. Kittridge Palm Apartments, a one- and two-bedroom complex, was sold by Kittridge Partners. Dean Zander, a broker with Hendricks & Partners, represented both the buyer and the seller. Chatsworth Acquisition Bush and Chatsworth Inc. sold a 227,000-square-foot office and research-and-development facility in Chatsworth to CT Realty. The building is located at 21415-21615 Plummer St. Ken Ashen, Bennett Robinson, Greg Geraci and Gerald Kim at CB Richard Ellis represented the buyer and seller in the transaction. Oxnard Activity Two transactions were recently completed in Oxnard. Halliburton Energy Services Inc. purchased a 14,000-square-foot industrial building for $1.8 million. The property at 1025 South Rose Ave. sits on a parcel totaling more than three acres. Halliburton, which provides a range of contract oil-field-related services, will use the facility to consolidate two of its current locations for office, warehousing and other operations. The current occupants and seller of the building, Santa Clara Seed Co., will relocate to another facility at 2100 Eastman Ave. in Oxnard. Fred Ferro and Alex Woronovich of NAI Capital Commercial represented both the buyer and seller in the transaction. Also in Oxnard, Off the Bolt Inc., a retail showroom for fabrics and upholstery, has leased 15,000 square feet of space at Marketplace at Plaza del Norte. Off the Bolt was represented by Linda Hagelis of NAI Capital Commercial. The landlord, Oxnard del Norte Associates, was represented by Carol Schroeder of CB Richard Ellis. Staff Reporter Shelly Garcia can be reached at (818) 710-2731, ext. 4316 or at sfvbj@aol.com.

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