SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter Developers of “The Plant” are working both sides of the street. Selleck Development Group Inc. and Voit Cos., which formed a joint venture to develop the 68-acre industrial and retail complex at the site of the former General Motors Corp. plant in Panorama City, are in escrow to acquire an 11.2-acre parcel on the other side of Van Nuys Boulevard, according to Dan Selleck, president of Westlake Village-based Selleck Development. The site is being sold by Public Storage Inc., which acquired it a year ago with the intention of building a storage facility. But the Glendale-based company said it changed strategies when it began to receive offers for the site. Voit, which has already pre-leased two of the three buildings under construction at The Plant, would develop the majority of the Public Storage parcel, and Selleck Development, which has pre-leased 98 percent of the retail space at The Plant, would build additional retail space on two to three acres fronting Van Nuys Boulevard, said sources close to the deal. The Public Storage site is the second nearby property to catch the eye of The Plant’s developers. Voit is also negotiating to acquire a 6.7-acre parcel on Saticoy Avenue, just south of The Plant. Sources familiar with Voit’s industrial development activities at The Plant said it has landed a second industrial tenant. (The first one is Ricon Corp., which is having a build-to-suit facility developed on the site.) Voit is currently constructing Ricon’s 200,000-square-foot facility, as well as a 155,000-square-foot speculative facility. The second tenant has leased that speculative building, sources said. With a second tenant on board, Voit has leased two-thirds of the 600,000-square-foot industrial complex it plans to develop at the site. Bob Lumley, Voit’s vice president of development, declined to comment on the deal, citing a confidentiality agreement. Expansion in the works The new owner of the Prudential office center in Woodland Hills has begun planning a major expansion of the complex. Lennar Partners, which acquired the property from the Prudential Insurance Co. of America this summer, has hired a San Fernando Valley-based architect to draw up plans to expand the complex by up to 1.5 million square feet in as many as nine buildings, plus restaurants and parking. “We’re in the early planning stages,” said Brian Poliquin, president of Poliquin Kellogg Design Group, the Woodland Hills-based architectural firm hired to design the project. The 35-acre site, at Burbank Boulevard and Canoga Avenue, currently contains two office buildings, which were built in the late 1970s and are occupied by Prudential. The initial phase of the development would include two new garden-style office buildings from three to five stories. Construction is expected to be completed in the next 12 to 18 months. The architect is planning “lots of green space,” with pedestrian walkways throughout the complex and several restaurants to help create a self-contained office complex. After those first-phase buildings are complete, as many as seven additional new buildings are to be added to the site over the next seven to 10 years. For the time being, Prudential will continue to occupy the two buildings currently on the site. Eventually, Prudential is expected to vacate the property, at which point those buildings would be torn down. Poliquin Kellogg, a 4-year-old firm, is also the designer of the industrial facilities at The Plant. Big Blue, meet Glendale IBM has leased a 34,230-square-foot office in Glendale to house its Los Angeles sales and marketing division. IBM will be moving about 400 employees from downtown to the new location, an office building at 400 N. Brand Blvd. “The lease had expired,” said Dave Berman, an IBM spokesman. “In looking at our new requirements we wanted to be as convenient to the bulk of our employees as possible. We discovered that the largest bulk of our employees lived in the Valley and Glendale areas.” IBM will retain about one floor of space at its current building in downtown Los Angeles. The company also has offices in Gardena, where it has increased its space recently. Berman said most of the division’s employees do not report to the offices each day. The three locations allow employees to make use of the company’s offices and offer convenient locations for those who only occasionally use the space. “We’ve got this mobile structure which says you need to be where your customer is,” Berman said. He said the company had no specific requirement to locate outside the city of Los Angeles and could just as easily have selected a spot in another part of the San Fernando Valley. In addition to being located close to IBM employees’ homes, the Glendale building suited IBM’s space and cost requirements. Berman would not confirm the value of the lease, which industry sources said is in excess of $5 million. Bill Ukropina and Jennifer Muirhead at CB Richard Ellis represented IBM in the deal. Doctors cash in A group of physician-owners has sold the Northridge Medical Center for $4.75 million, according to Michael Dettling, director of the health care real estate group at Ramsey-Shilling Co. The 29,640-square-foot office building at 18433 Roscoe Blvd. was acquired by the Construction Laborers Union Pension Trust. The two-story building, across from the 435-bed Northridge Hospital Medical Center, is fully leased. According to Dettling, who represented the physician group Uniphy Investments, sale prices for medical buildings in the San Fernando Valley are running about 10 percent higher than a year ago, as a result of climbing lease rates. Alien sighting Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc., a firm that builds animated figures for such movies as the “Alien” films and “Starship Troopers,” acquired a 19,667-square-foot industrial building in Chatsworth for $1.3 million. The seller was the Colton Family Trust. Amalgamated had been leasing the building, which is located at 20100 Plummer St. Chuck Carmichael of Capital Commercial/NAI represented the buyer, and Jim McDonald of Group 100 represented the seller.