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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023


SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter Brisk business has led to some modifications in plans for the Winnetka 20 Entertainment Center in Chatsworth. The multiplex, the largest one in the San Fernando Valley, has drawn such large crowds since it opened in February that the developer has decided to hold off on its plan to add restaurants to the site. “We don’t want the restaurants competing for parking and the view of the theater,” said Neil Haltrecht, vice president for real estate and development at Pacific Theaters in Los Angeles. The company is projecting that 2 million people will go to the multiplex this year, making it “one of the top theaters in Southern California,” Haltrecht said. Pacific Theaters has already expanded into an additional 10 acres of undeveloped land on the property to add about 400 parking spaces. Haltrecht said the company has decided to conduct some additional consumer research to determine whether moviegoers will be satisfied with the fare at the food court before deciding to move ahead with sit-down restaurants. Meanwhile, Pacific Theaters has signed on the last of the food-court vendors for the multiplex. Fiesta Grille, a fast-food retailer serving Mexican-style dishes, will occupy somewhat more than 2,000 square feet at the food court of the multiplex, along with Java Centrale and three other independent food outlets. Fiesta Grille’s multi-year lease is valued at $720,000, according to Brian Pulaski of Capital Commercial/NAI, who represented the chain. City to buy Sherman Oaks site After several months of negotiations, the city of Los Angeles has gone into escrow to buy nearly 80 acres of undeveloped land in Sherman Oaks. The purchase price is $4.5 million, according to Sharon Mayer, chief field deputy for Los Angeles City Councilman Michael Feuer, whose office spearheaded the negotiations. The land will be kept as open space. The Deervale-Stone Canyon site, which lies between Mulholland Drive on the north, Valley Vista Boulevard to the south, Beverly Glen on the west and the San Diego (405) Freeway to the east, is the largest parcel of undeveloped land in Sherman Oaks. The city, through the Department of General Services, began negotiations to purchase the land when its owner, Glendale-based developer Shawbeth Inc., was in the process of pulling permits to build a luxury residential community on the acreage. Funding for the purchase is coming from Proposition K, passed by voters in 1996, which, among other things, empowers the city to assess property owners in the area between Laurel Canyon and the San Diego Freeway for up to $4 million for open-space projects. Coast Fed site being sold The site of a former Coast Federal Bank on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City is due to close escrow at the end of June. The property has been sold to an unnamed buyer affiliated with “an upscale retail tenant,” according to Bert Abel, senior associate at Grubb & Ellis Co. in Sherman Oaks, who represented the seller. The site drew a number of interested parties, and the selling price for the facility, which has 10,000 square feet of available retail space, was in excess of the $2.5 million asking price. The seller is Home Savings of America, which acquired Coast earlier this year. Home Savings is now in the process of being acquired by Washington Mutual Bank. Northrop finds buyer, again Escrow is expected to close in the next two weeks on the former Northrop Corp. property in Thousands Oaks, according to Ed Rouse, associate vice president based in the Camarillo office of Daum Commercial Real Estate Services, agent for the property. The site, which contains 566,560 square feet of vacant office and industrial space, is expected to be sold to an unnamed developer who plans to subdivide the 102-acre site into separate parcels. Rouse said the buyer is considering tearing down some or all of the four buildings currently on the site. About 60 percent of the current structures are industrial, and the site is zoned for both industrial and office uses. In addition, there are 52 acres available for development. This is the fourth time the site has been in escrow. Kilroy Realty Corp. had earlier agreed to buy it but decided to pull out at the end of May, then the current buyer stepped in within a few days, Rouse said. “There is a lot of interest in this property and there were several parties with offers,” he added. Rouse said the vacancy rate for industrial spaces larger than 20,000 square feet in the Conejo Valley is about 3 percent, and there are no other land parcels that can be developed in the area. The Conejo Valley’s office vacancy rate was 14 percent as of the end of the first quarter, according to Grubb & Ellis. Andy Fishburn, Kilroy’s senior vice president of leasing, said he and his colleagues withdrew from purchasing the site after determining it would require extensive redevelopment, making profits hard to come by. “We analyzed the site every which way and basically passed on it,” Fishburn said. Northrop Grumman Corp. owns the property but has not used it since 1992. The property has been on the market since then, Rouse said, but only in the past 18 months or so has there been significant interest from buyers. Party place Fantasy Island, a former banquet and party complex in Agoura that had drawn numerous complaints from neighbors, will be sold at auction July 9, said Tim Pluma of Capital Commercial/NAI, who is representing the property owner, Avi Datner. The property covers 23 acres and is located in a rustic canyon area of the Santa Monica Mountains. The property had been on the market with an asking price of $3.5 million, but no parties submitted offers, said Barry Bierman of Capital Commercial. So now it is being auctioned off. The complex was a popular site for weddings and bar mitzvahs, but for more than five years residents in the neighborhood had complained of loud music and traffic from parties held by Datner. Datner and his family invested several million dollars since 1991 to transform the property by adding a gated entrance, a bridge over a seasonal stream, a 7,500-square-foot home that is more than half completed, utilities, a commercial kitchen, equestrian facilities, parking and landscaping with three ponds. ? Wade Daniels and Elizabeth Hayes contributed to this report

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