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Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023

Meet Needham’s ‘Dynamic’ Tenant

By MICHAEL AUSHENKER Staff Reporter Illumination Dynamics, a lighting, grip and electrical power company for the entertainment industry, has become the first – and so far the only – tenant at The Center at Needham Ranch, the sprawling Santa Clarita industrial park that, once built out, stands to total 853,645 square feet. Founded in 2001 by industry experts headed by founders Carly Barber and Jeff Pentek, Illumination Dynamics committed last May to a long-term, 67,639 square foot lease — transacted by CBRE’s Craig Peters and Doug Sonderegger — at Building 1 of the 54-acre business park, which is situated on a fully entitled, 132-acre stretch of land developed as a joint venture by Trammell Crow Co. and Clarion Partners. The project’s phase I, which is costing $150 million to construct, currently has one of six buildings occupied, with two more buildings ready for immediate move-in and another three warehouses under construction by mid-2020. A phase II, to begin construction this summer, could bring some 10 more industrial buildings online on the Santa Clarita Valley campus. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of ARRI Rental (formerly Camera Service Center), employs about 1,500 staff worldwide. At Needham Ranch, Barber has about 35 people on her immediate payroll, not including independent contractors. Prior to the move to Santa Clarita Valley, Illumination Dynamics was based in the city of San Fernando. However, when the company outgrew the space and needed to find a new venue Barber found that “a lot has changed. The occupancy for the Valley, it was very hard to find.” In the meantime, Barber already knew her company’s future destination quite well. “I have lived in Santa Clarita for a long time,” she said. She said the move to Santa Clarita has been a complete improvement for Illumination Dynamics, from parking and access to trucks that her business relies on, to on-site security and prime location. In San Fernando, Illumination Dynamics was based at an old building that was essentially two buildings linked together, and while the square-footage was roughly the same as the new digs, the height was not. “The ceiling height is 18 feet clear in the old facility,” Barber said, while at The Center’s building, there is 30 feet of ceiling clearance. “The square footage is the same (72,000 square feet) if you include both canopies which are working areas for our truck and generator fleet,” she continued. “With the high ceilings and being only one building and not divided into two, the new space is much more efficient with room for significantly higher racking and a streamlined workflow.” Plus, Barber added, “One of the advantages working here is the safety. We control our parking, our security.” Plus, the nearby area includes a plethora of film production ranches, including Burbank-based Walt Disney Co.’s nearby 890-acre Golden Oak Ranch. And then there are the aesthetics of the Santa Clarita Valley. “Clearly, it’s a beautiful park. All of us are feeling the benefit of the environment,” she said. Her employees, she said, have told her they enjoy coming to work to their new space. Barber, who said that working with the city of Santa Clarita has gone smoothly, is not concerned about which neighboring tenants move into buildings no. 2, 3, etc. She said she trusts the Trammell Crow and CBRE teams. “This has been re-energizing for us,” she said.

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