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Monday, Sep 25, 2023

Real estate column

SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter PacTen Partners is in escrow to acquire a 36.5-acre site from the Newhall Land & Farming Co. in Valencia. West L.A.-based PacTen plans to build an $85-million, campus-style office development with 700,000 square feet of space on the site, which is located within the Valencia Commerce Center at the junction of Interstate 5 and State Highway 126. When completed, the project will include 12 buildings of about 65,000 square feet each. As land becomes scarce throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley community of Valencia is attracting developers in need of parcels that are ready for immediate development. “There’s a real shortage of supply of large pieces of land in master-planned communities,’ said Nyal Leslie, chief executive of PacTen. “To be able to put together 36 acres anywhere in the San Fernando Valley for a campus-style office development is very difficult to do.” Leslie compares the Valencia Commerce Center to the Irvine Industrial Complex, which has been very successful. “Irvine started with tremendous industrial space and built that, and then sprung the office market,” he said. “There is recent history of movement out of the Westside of L.A. because of the employment base, quality of life and availability of space. Those similarities are in direct comparison to Irvine.” PacTen intends to develop the parcel, its first foray into Valencia, in four phases with three buildings planned for each phase. The first phase, slated to begin in September, will include three buildings with a combined 180,000 square feet of space. PacTen is developing those three buildings on a speculative basis, meaning without any tenant commitments. The first-phase buildings are due to be completed in spring 1999 PacTen’s project is another indication of the growing acceptance of the Santa Clarita Valley by L.A. businesses. The Valencia area has, in recent years, attracted such companies as Remo Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of percussion instruments, Princess Cruises and Warner Bros., which has set up production storage facilities in the Valencia Commerce Center. Newhall Land & Farming expects to sell more than 100 acres of land in its Valencia Commerce Center in 1998, a company spokeswoman said. PacTen is developing Valencia Corporate Point under a joint venture with St. Louis-based Conning Asset Management Co., the investment arm of General American Life Insurance Co. Foundation Spreads Out Foundation Health Systems Inc. is close to signing a lease for four floors in Warner Center’s Plaza III tower, sources said. The company, which bought Health Systems International Inc. more than a year ago, is currently occupying one floor in an adjacent tower at 21550 Oxnard St. The pending lease involves about 110,000 square feet of space, according to sources, and would effectively fill the Plaza III high-rise. The former HSI subsidiary Health Net, now owned by Foundation Health, will continue to occupy its current space at 21600 Oxnard St. The three-building Warner Center complex has made a strong recovery in recent months. A year ago, Plaza III was only 20 percent occupied. A number of relocations at the end of 1997 pushed that occupancy rate up to 70 percent. Foundation Health is expected to change its name to Health Net to reflect the completion of the merger. Phoenix Firm Invests in Valley Agoura Hills LLC, an investment group based in Phoenix, has closed escrow on a 57,000-square-foot, Class B office building in Agoura Hills, one of four investments the company is making in the greater San Fernando Valley. The property, at 28720 Roadside Drive, was sold for $5.75 million by Shamrock Holdings Corp. of Burbank. It is 94 percent occupied, according to Mark Leonard, senior director for sales and leasing at Charles Dunn Co. Inc., who represented the buyer and seller along with his partner, Tom Specker. In January, Agoura Hills LLC bought the Occidental Business Center, a 95,000-square-foot office building at 9400 Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Chatsworth. The company is currently in escrow on three other Valley properties and, in the past year, has also acquired three buildings in other parts of L.A. News and Notes Nextel Communications leased 9,650 square feet of retail space for $1.8 million at 17133-17139 Ventura Blvd. in Encino, according to Richard Layner, senior vice president of Capital Commercial/NAI Real Estate, which represented the building owner. Newport Beach-based Koll Development Co. has acquired a 50,000-square-foot office building in Pasadena for about $6 million, the first of several investments the company says it intends to make in the Tri-Cities office market. Koll acquired the building, at 199 N. Lake Ave., from Glendale Federal Bank FSB. Dick Schnell of Cushman Realty Corp. represented Glendale Federal and Koll represented itself. Koll has signed Glendale Federal to a five-year lease for 6,400 square feet of space for its retail banking operation. WestStar Cinemas Inc. has opened Glendale Marketplace 4, a state-of-the-art theater with stadium seating at 144 S. Brand Blvd. The Mann Theatres complex also features digital stereo sound and computerized advance ticketing. Encino-based Seeley Co. has launched a Web site that lists all the company’s property listings and links its 10 real estate offices and sales executives. The site also allows clients to access local brokers by geographic area and specialty. The address is www.seeleyco.com.

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