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Giant Auto Retailer Picks Burbank Site for Area Expansion

CarMax Inc. has signed a 15-year ground lease for six acres of land in Burbank and will open its first San Fernando Valley store on the site sometime this fall. The deal, for a total consideration of $17,720,000, marks another step in the auto retailer’s plan to expand into California and the Southern California market in a big way. Richmond, Va.-based CarMax expects to open 15 to 20 stores in California in the next five to 10 years. The Burbank store, which joins five other locations in the L.A. area with another due to open in Torrance, will house about 250 to 400 used vehicles at any given time. The auto dealer’s business model also allows shoppers to use its online listings to transfer any of its stock of 20,000 vehicles to the location nearest to them. CarMax is moving into a space at Flower Street and Alameda Avenue that was formerly occupied by defense industry manufacturer ITT, which vacated the premises a number of years ago. CarMax had hoped to begin its redevelopment of the site in the third quarter of last year, but environmental issues on the site delayed the groundbreaking. The city of Burbank has long sought a car dealership. Several previous efforts to find a tenant for another Burbank location over a number of years never materialized. Bill Bauman, Brent Weirick and George Stavaris, brokers with Colliers International, represented the landlord in the deal, a family trust. CarMax was represented by Michael Heslov at Soboroff Leasing Associates. CarMax, which calls itself the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, came into the L.A. market in 1999 with a model that promises no haggling, guarantees the conditions of the cars it sells and offers a five-day money-back return policy. The company some years ago was said to be shopping the Valley marketplace for a site, including a different location in Burbank and one in Van Nuys, but pulled back for a time to focus on its internal operations. CarMax currently operates in 68 used car stores in 20 states. The price paid for the Burbank site is said to be about 25 percent higher than other bidders. Arleta Sale A 69,700-square-foot industrial building in Arleta was sold for $9 million. The property, at 12800 Wentworth St., was acquired by Kids from the Valley V LLC, private investors who have been particularly active in the Valley in recent months. They, and the seller, RIF II-Wentworth LLC, were represented by Ron Feder, a broker with Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura. Sylmar Sale An 81,022-square-foot parcel in Sylmar that has been used to store automotive vehicles has been sold for $3.5 million. The parcel, at 8039 Canoga Ave., was acquired by United Auto & Truck Inc., which will use the space as a repair facility for its commercial trucks. United Auto also operates another facility in Sylmar. Dennis Marciniak, a broker with GVA Daum, represented the seller, a partnership that includes Harvey Mudd College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and others. The buyer was represented by Ron Kassan, Trevor Gale and Peter Steigleder of Beitler Commercial Realty Services. More Condos Due Another Valley condo conversion is underway. Veritas Real Estate Investments LLC of Los Angeles, with funding from TMC America, has acquired a 26-unit apartment complex in Sherman Oaks with plans to convert the rental property to condominiums. The project is located at 4702 Fulton Ave. Construction will begin late this year with a completion date slated for the fourth quarter of 2007. Warner Center Lease The Kern Organization leased 17,677 square feet of office space at Warner Center Business Park for a total consideration of $2.5 million. The direct marketing company is relocating from another Valley address. Brian Forster, a broker with TOLD Partners, represented the tenant. The landlord, CarrAmerica Realty Corp., represented itself. Kudos Four local real estate professionals have been recognized by the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) for their performance in 2005. James Linn, broker with Grubb & Ellis in Sherman Oaks, John R. DeGrinis, broker with Colliers International in Encino and R. Scott Martin and Bruce Frasco, both with NAI Capital in Encino, were among the 16 brokers recognized by SIOR’s Los Angeles chapter. Deal Roundup A Simi Valley industrial building with 17,000 square feet of space sold for $2.2 million. to an owner-user. Scott Caswell, a broker with Delphi Business Properties, represented the buyer, Brian Carrigan. Bob Kahn, a broker with CB Richard Ellis, represented the seller. Two small apartment complexes in Van Nuys have recently changed hands. One six-unit property at 6743 Haskell Ave. was sold to private investors for $725,000, and another 6-unit complex at 5712 Kester Ave. was sold for $821,000. Todd S. Schwartz, broker with Hanes Investment Reality Inc., represented the buyers and sellers in both transactions.

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