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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
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Closed Landmark Hits the Block in West Valley

A closed Woodland Hills landmark may be the site of the next big multifamily development in the West Valley. The parcel at Canoga Avenue and Vanowen Street where Sierra’s Mexican Restaurant operated for 43 years before servings its last meal in May was put on the market last month. “This is the gateway in and out of Warner Center,” said Lonnie McDermott, senior associate at the Encino office of Marcus & Millichap and one of the brokers for the land. The property, with about 438,000 buildable square feet, is owned by the Jaramillo family, who operated Sierra’s and Mission Burrito restaurant next door. There is no asking price for the 2.2 acres of land, but commercial property in the neighborhood is pricey. In 2006, 3.3 acres of land was purchased less than half a mile away for $7.5 million to build the Avalon Warner Center apartments, according to CoStar Group Inc. “We’re going to let the market dictate the pricing,” said Brandon Michaels, a vice president of investment at Marcus & Millichap who is also representing the owner. “This site will offer a unique ability to do multiple things. We think multifamily makes sense, but it could go a lot of ways.” The land is governed by the Warner Center specific plan and multiple uses are allowed, but a multifamily project might make the most sense. Woodland Hills is going through a growth spurt and there likely will be more demand for housing. Westfield Group LLC of Australia is planning its $500 million mixed-use development connecting the Westfield Topanga and Westfield Promenade malls; United Technologies Corp. plans to turn the 47-year-old Rocketdyne site across from Sierra’s into a development that could feature a 16-story hotel, residential, offices and retail. And in June, Farmers Insurance Group announced that it would shift its 1,400 employees and corporate headquarters from Wilshire Boulevard to Warner Center. Associate Kyle Sterling is also representing the owner. Renovation Evaluation New construction nearly always gets the most attention, but one local businessman is focusing heavily on renovation projects. Silver Star Real Estate is a Van Nuys company run by Indian native Harshad Dharod, who owns more than 65 Carl’s Jr. franchises, many in the Valley. Between 2006 and 2007, Dharod bought five Valley apartment buildings. This year, he contracted with Macbeth Apartment Services of Carlsbad to begin large-scale renovations to the first of those buildings, constructed about 50 years ago. “With a $600,000 investment, he can add value of about $1.7 million,” said Charles Macbeth, chief executive of the property management and renovation company. Macbeth began renovations on the Reseda Continental, a 57-unit building at 19344 Wyandotte St., in July. Dharod bought the Reseda building in 2006 for $7.2 million, according to CoStar. Dharod was unavailable for comment, but Macbeth said the renovations are substantial, including installation of new fixtures, carpeting and wood laminate floors. Exterior work will include building a leasing office, retrofitting all windows, installing cameras on the premises – and changing the name. “The majority of the people moving into the area are not going to be able to afford the newer buildings so the right play is rehab and renovation, said David Casper, vice president at the Encino office of Colliers International, who represents the owner. Lara Markel, a vice president at Colliers who works with Dharod, said the other Valley properties could receive similar improvements should Reseda Continental proves successful. Camarillo Expansion A company that makes thermal and acoustical products for the aircraft, missile and space industries is expanding. Hi-Temp Insulation Inc. has purchased a 68,608 square-foot Camarillo industrial building at 670 Pancho Road for almost $5.7 million. The company already owns two other nearby buildings for a total of 133,492 square-feet of industrial space. The L.A.-North/Ventura office of Lee & Associates in Calabasas represented both the buyer and seller, real estate investment firm Alto Investment Co. Grant Fulkerson, a principal at Lee and one of the brokers involved, said it was an easy sell. “We realized early on in our marketing efforts that the building was in high demand, and the competition resulted in a sale price that was very close to asking,” he said in a statement. Mike Tingus, president of the Lee office in Calabasas, and Grant Harris, principal, also represented Hi-Temp Insulation. Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at egolan@sfvbj.com or (818)316-3123.

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