78.5 F
San Fernando
Friday, Jan 27, 2023
-Advertisement-

Wrecking Ball for Simi Offices

A Simi Valley landmark has traded hands – and may be headed for the rubble pile. In March, Province Group/Newport Equities of Newport Beach announced it had acquired the six-story former home of Farmers Insurance Group, situated on a 12.8-acre site at 3039 Cochran St., for $18.5 million. The Orange County developer purchased the property with an eye toward razing the office building and redeveloping the site into a mixed-use development to include housing and retail. Until 2011, Farmers Insurance Group had occupied the building. The property includes a 240,000-square-foot tower, a 21,013-square-foot training center and a 1,100-vehicle surface parking lot. The buildings have stood vacant since 2012 when Farmers Insurance exited Simi Valley and relocated its 1,200-person workforce to Woodland Hills. The transfer came after Farmers Insurance had laid off 650 positions in Woodland Hills once the Los Angeles-based insurance company had absorbed rival 21st Century Insurance. At the time, the insurance company had leased the building from Capital Lease Funding Inc. in New York. Farmers’ lease expired in 2017 and, according to a report in the VC Star newspaper, Capital Lease was unable to find new tenants so the property’s ownership went to its lender. Mixed-use message Province Group/Newport Equities is currently in the process of pushing its mixed-use vision for the parcel. The firm’s goal is to offer various levels of housing and ground-floor retail, with two-story townhomes and two-story and freestanding three-story single-family homes. According to the VC Star report, Province Group principal Mark Kerslake attended a Simi Valley City Council meeting in late January at which the site’s proposed new development cleared its first hurdle, a “pre-screening.” The Council voted unanimously to allow the project to be further processed. CBRE Group represented both buyer and seller, John Mitchell of LNR Partners LLC, in the transaction. CBRE’s Gary Stache told the Star that the sale “closed following a fiercely competitive bidding process with multiple offers” while CBRE’s Mark Shaffer added, “The large size of this site and its strategic location made this a rare opportunity for an experienced developer to have a major impact on the local community. This centrally located, highly visible, rare urban infill site is an opportunity to create a large-scale, planned mixed-use community in highly desirable (Simi Valley).” Cochran Street — and Simi Valley at large — is seeing a resurgence of interest as commercial inventory grows scarce throughout North Los Angeles. A 60,416-square-foot research and development building at 685 E. Cochran St. traded for $11 million, according to Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura President Mike Tingus and Principal Grant Fulkerson, who represented the seller of the property, 685 Cochran Holdings LLC. In a leaseback arrangement, the seller continued to occupy a portion of the property for its businesses, while the property’s buyer, Albert Halami, will create add-on value with new landscaping and improving the parking lot.

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.
-Advertisement-

Featured Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-

Related Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-