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Sunday, Jun 26, 2022

Moorpark: High Street Depot Kicks Into Gear

DiCecco Architecture Inc. recently revealed its designs for High Street Depot, a mixed-use project that promises to blend retail and residential units adjacent to Moorpark’s Metro station. “Mark (DiCecco) and I both believed from the start that we should keep a historical perspective for the High Street Downtown project,” Vince Daly of Daly Group Inc., the Westlake Village-based development firm, told the Business Journal. “From that foundation, we had many, many iterations and months collaborating on how to exactly implement that.” The firms embarked on this development journey early last year, holding a community meeting and tour at the site. Daly sees up to 80 residential units blended into a development featuring ground-floor retail, including a coffeehouse and craft beer, plus public spaces for community events. Since that July gathering, Daly said, the design process moved “relatively quickly.” “Mark and I have worked together on projects for many years and both seemed to have simultaneous ‘a-ha’ moments while designing this downtown plan,” said Daly, adding that every epiphany raised the project another notch. “We both consider it a great privilege and responsibility to develop the downtown Moorpark project,” Daly continued, “and, as such, are treating this stewardship with all our abilities.” The project at 192 High St. may be especially resonant for the town center’s locally based designer, who also resides in Moorpark. “The design’s main focus is bringing the community together,” DiCecco wrote on his website. “We are very proud to create this project for our home town.” Next up for High Street Depot: the city’s entitlement and public hearing process. Studio party After four years and counting, the mixed-use redevelopment of the former Sunkist Growers Inc. headquarters at 14130 Riverside Drive — to bring a mix of residential units, office space and retail storefronts to the heart of Sherman Oaks — is still in its early stages. In the meantime, L.A.-based architecture, urban planning and design firm Johnson Fain, which envisioned the IMT Sherman Oaks project, did what most companies do when December rolls around – they threw a holiday party for employees, clients and associates. “When we are together, frequently the clock is ticking and it’s all business,” Scott Johnson told the Business Journal days after the robust Dec. 4 event. About 300 guests filled the firm’s 25,700 square feet of open studios, computer server rooms, model building and virtual reality studios, and virtual meeting-equipped conference rooms for the year-capping celebration. Guests included developers from Trammell Crow Co. and Ratkovich to JMB Urban and Atlas Capital. Real estate service and brokerage firms CBRE Group Inc. and Jones Lang Lasalle were also present, as were representatives of consultant firms and land-use attorneys from the firms Latham & Watkins, Allen Matkins and Shepherd Mullin. The headquarters of the architecture firm, located in Chinatown at 1201 N. Broadway, is packed with local lore. It was built in 1924 and renovated in 1937. “The buildings were originally built and then expanded for the Dominick Basso Chrysler & DeSoto Showroom of 1922,” Johnson said. “DeSotos were discontinued and Jeeps were picked up.” In the pre-Pasadena Freeway days of the 1920s and 1930s, this L.A. River-adjacent location at the foot of Elysian Park was the first and last commercial property commuters on main thoroughfare Broadway saw daily. “Good place for an auto showroom,” Johnson said. As for the IMT project, Johnson Fain’s James Donaldson explained that the Sherman Oaks development is still going through the entitlement process and will hopefully proceed in 2019. Personal Note The publication of this — the first issue of 2019 — marks my first year writing for San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Simply put, it has been both an education and an entertainment to circulate throughout the business communities of the San Fernando, Conejo, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, from Camarillo to the Tri-Cities. While covering the region’s great brokerages and big transactions, I’ve witnessed the nexus between private firms and public interests, and I’ve transcribed the dreams of the developers, architects and designers literally reshaping the region and rendering their creative stamp in buildings. Looking forward to new adventures ahead and, as always, I welcome your story tips and ideas at the contact below. Staff Reporter Michael Aushenker can be reached at (818) 316-3123 or maushenker@sfvbj.com

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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