One of the largest vacant buildings in the Antelope Valley finally has a new tenant-owner – but it will come at the expense of Santa Clarita. Bang Printing, which currently operates in a leased building at the Valencia Industrial Center, purchased a 130,000-square-foot building in Palmdale for $6.4 million, according to Dennis Marciniak, vice president in the Woodland Hills office of Daum Commercial Real Estate Services and broker on the deal. The 600 W. Technology Drive building was most recently occupied by Senior Systems, a contract manufacturer of printed circuit board and electrical components that filed for bankruptcy in July 2012. It vacated the building about a year later. Bang, based in Brainherd, Minn., provides offset printing and binding services for book and catalogue publishers as well as on-demand digital printing services for a variety of clients. Attempts to reach a representative of Bang were not successful. Kari Blackburn, senior project manager in the economic development department for Palmdale, said Bang has started to make changes to the building, adding loading docks and doing landscape improvements. But it has not yet told the city when it plans to relocate its employees. “We are hoping to get more information from them as the month goes on,” she said. The printer is currently operating at a leased 130,000-square-foot building at 28210 N. Avenue Stanford where it has 125 employees. For Santa Clarita, the loss of Bang comes as a blow to a city that prides itself on being business friendly. It is also a hit to the 18.5-million-square foot industrial real estate market, which had a vacancy rate of 4.3 percent in the first quarter. Holly Schroeder, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., said her organization had multiple conversations with Bang once it learned the company was looking to go elsewhere. Specifically, the group talked with Bang about the California Competes program, which encourages companies to expand and add jobs. Recipients receive credits based on future capital investment, employee growth and economic impact to the state. Bang will still be able to access them in Palmdale, she acknowledged. “In some way we hope that our efforts to introduce them to those programs helped in their deciding to stay in Los Angeles County even if it’s not in Santa Clarita,” she added. Her group will now work to fill Bang’s existing building, which was constructed in 1986 and was occupied by Delta Printing Solutions until Bang acquired that company in 2008. The Valencia Industrial Center is a 1,100 acre development for office, industrial and retail uses. Schroeder said the building would be a suitable home for a company in the aerospace, medical device, digital media, entertainment or information technology industries. “The simple answer is manufacturing and aerospace are likely candidates for that space,” she added. Interested parties While city officials are uncertain why Bang decided to end its lease and buy in Palmdale, commercial real estate sales remain strong due to low interest rates – and there is the prospect that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the near future. Still, the Senior Systems building, which was constructed in 1988, remained vacant for years as other commercial properties were scooped up. Marciniak, the broker, said it was a combination of the building size and the peculiarities of the Antelope Valley industrial market as it recovered from the recession that caused the delay. “We were dealing with the tail end of the downturn,” he said. Not that there were no interested parties. Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp., which is based in Falls Church, Va. but has local operations in Palmdale, including the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, and another aerospace company both looked at it. They were driven by possible work from the ramp-up of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, but the Defense Department has cut back on the program due to rising costs. Other potential buyers included a Chinese company, South Korean energy company, two charter schools and a church. Bang Printing has roots that date back more than a century when E.E. Beard founded the commercial printing operation as well as a small local newspaper in Brainerd. Ownership changed hands multiple times over the years until 1975 when the Kurtzman family bought the company. Bang expanded to the West Coast in 2008 when it acquired Delta Printing Solutions and grew that facility into what the Bang website claims was the largest printer of books, manuals, catalogs and directories in the western United States. Bang is competing in a printing industry that has seen consolidation of print shops and reduction in jobs as digital media has cut into demand – and made it simpler to operate presses with fewer employees. Harman Press, in North Hollywood, is one of the few Valley area printing companies still in business. It serves Democratic political campaigns, the entertainment industry and local unions.