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Ventura County Continues to Pull Migrants From L.A. Market

Tenant migration and new construction combined to create a dynamic market in the Conejo Valley with significantly lower vacancy during the third quarter. In one of the biggest deals, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. relocated to Westlake Village from Calabasas. The research biotech nearly doubled its previous footprint to 33,000 square feet as interest grows in its drug to treat chin fat. And then there was Swiss Re’s lease of 20,000 square feet in Westlake Village. The global reinsurance carrier, based in Zurich, signed for seven years at 112 South Lakeview Canyon Road. The move marked a slight downsizing from Swiss Re’s previous location in Calabasas. Kevin Fenenbock, senior vice president at the Valencia office of Colliers International who worked on the Swiss Re deal, said companies see a lot of advantages in moving west along the 101 freeway. “If you look at the north L.A. market, you see a lot of migration,” he said. “West L.A. companies are going to Sherman Oaks and Encino, causing the renters there to move west to Woodland Hills. And some of those tenants around Warner Center are looking farther west.” While the Conejo Valley is farther away from other parts of the Los Angeles market and asking rents are similar to prices in the Valley, advantages include better amenities, such as free parking, and lower taxes and fees outside of L.A. city. During the quarter, tenants took 131,000 square feet of office space off the market, according to data from Colliers. Vacancy declined two whole points to 16.3 percent, perhaps helped along by landlords willing to deal – asking rents declined two pennies to $2.17. Other significant leases in the market included Aspiranet Inc., a non-profit adoption agency that took 17,000 square feet at 5284 Adolfo Road in Camarillo from landlord Camarillo Office Partners l LLC, and CallSource Inc., a telemarketing firm, which signed a lease for 25,500 square feet at 5601 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village. Meanwhile, with all the leasing activity, construction crews are working to deliver 178,000 square feet of new space in Westlake Village. Denver developer Amstar is building Westlake Park Place Phase II, a 102,000 square foot, five-story structure visible just south of the 101 freeway. In addition, a 64,400-square-foot low-rise broke ground in the third quarter. Both are scheduled for completion next year. Mike Foxworthy, executive vice president at Daum Commercial in Camarillo and leasing agent for the project, said the new build-out is the first spec Class A office building in the Conejo Valley in quite some time. “We don’t have any tenants yet, but two or three are looking at taking either the whole building or part of it,” he said. “We see them come in from the San Fernando Valley, or existing tenants looking to upgrade in terms of quality.” In the retail sector, Selleck Development Group Inc.’s 240,000-square-foot Shoppes at Westlake Village opened during the quarter just a stone’s throw from the new office construction. Michael Schiff, executive vice president at NAI Capital in Westlake Village, said the center has filled up quickly with big-draw names such as Target, In-N-Out Burger and Total Woman. Fenenbock at Colliers said the project will boost the office market. “Any amenities are welcome. They will definitely help this market in terms of driving new office tenants here,” he said. – Joel Russell Main Events A 16,000-square-foot industrial building in Westlake Village was sold for $3.4 million in July. The building at 3580 Willow Lane was bought by Hughes Veterinary Development LLC from Garry Fishman of Encino. The manufacturing facility was built on 1 acre in 1990. Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. expanded its office footprint in the Conejo Valley. In August the company moved into a 33,000-square-foot space at 30930 Russell Ranch Road in Westlake Village – nearly double what it had at 27200 West Agoura Road in Calabasas. The biotech signed a three-year lease with landlord IDS Real Estate Group of Los Angeles. In August, marketing company CallSource Inc. signed a lease for 25,500 square feet at 5601 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village. The six-year deal is with landlord Arden Realty Inc. of Los Angeles. The Shoppes at Westlake Village retail center opened in August. The 240,000-square-foot center was built by hometown developer Daniel Selleck and his Selleck Development Group Inc. The Shoppes features about 35 retailers, including anchor Target, which altered its famous red bullseye to more of a rich bronze tone to conform with city standards. In November, In-N-Out will open with its logo transformed into bronze, circling a toned-down brick exterior rather than white stucco. Conejo Valley Office Market At a Glance Inventory 6.46 million square feet Under Construction 178,700 square feet Class A Asking Rents $2.17

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.
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