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Historic Parcel of Land Near Bob Hope Airport Changes Hands

Ardwin Freight purchased a parcel of land that once housed a piece of Burbank’s aviation history, according to Lee & Associates. Ardwin plans to build a corporate headquarters and storage facility for its business on the 110,000-square-foot site. Brett Warner, principal at Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura, represented the seller of the industrial property, which is located at 2940 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “What sold the property is the fact that land parcels in Burbank are rarely available, and this one is on a primary boulevard with high visibility adjacent to the Bob Hope Airport,” said Warner in a press release. “But it’s also nice to know that this historic parcel will once again be productive for the city and community.” The site had been home to Pacific AirMotive Corp. (PAC) during the early days of flight when iconic companies such as Lockheed Aircraft, Menasco Motors and Flying Tigers Airline were clustered in Burbank. After emerging in the 1920s, Pacific AirMotive became the first FAA authorized turbine overhaul facility, according to Lee & Associates. It’s believed that the jet maintenance company even overhauled one of Amelia Earhart’s planes. PAC closed in the mid-1990s, and the building was torn down a few years ago. The seller of the property acquired it with plans to build its corporate headquarters on the site. But the company’s growth outpaced those plans and the land proved too small for its needs. Ardwin Freight, a transportation and freight company, will relocate its corporate offices to the front of the parcel and utilize the rear of the parcel for storage. Gangi’s New Plan There are a slew of distressed residential condominium projects being held by banks in the Southland, according to Gangi Development Co. of Burbank, and those condos can be readily re-positioned to enrich communities and provide affordable housing. Gangi said it is actively seeking these types of projects, with the financial backing of an opportunity fund. “Banks are holding onto reams of failed or incomplete properties that companies with construction/development expertise like ours can readily complete and re-sell or rent at discounted rates,” said Frank Gangi, president of Gangi Development Company. The company is well positioned in the marketplace to pursue distressed property opportunities, he said. These projects often come with challenges that the company is equipped to handle because it has expertise in design, real estate law, entitlement and permit services, development services, construction, marketing and brokerages and sales, all in house. Gangi Development Co. has been involved in multiple housing, condominium conversions, opportunity funds and redevelopment areas since its founding in the late 1940s. It has a track record in creating affordable housing, notably in mixed use settings. Recently, the company completed sales of “Vermont Avenue Lofts”, a 28-unit mixed use project in Glendora. Earlier, its “Media Village” mixed use project in downtown Burbank featured 146 units of affordable senior housing. Retail Reality Employers are expected to slowly add to Los Angeles County payrolls in 2010, following two years of deep reductions, according to the 2010 National Retail Report by Marcus & Millichap. While the modest job growth will have a stabilizing effect on the local economy, retail space demand will likely remain soft as an unemployment rate in the high 12 percent range tempers consumer spending. Following are some of the most significant aspects of the company’s Los Angeles Retail Research Report: Following the loss of more than 100,000 workers in each of the past two years, employers are expected to add 13,000 jobs in 2010, a 0.3 percent increase. Employment in the retail trade sector is forecast to expand nominally. After approx. three million square feet was delivered in both 2008 and 2009, completions are projected to total just 1.2 million square feet this year. Despite slowing construction, tenant demand will remain soft, causing vacancy to rise 60 basis points in 2010 to 7.1 percent. Last year, vacancy spiked 200 basis points on negative net absorption of more than 1.3 million square feet. Asking rents are forecast to drop 2.1 percent this year to $27.64 per square foot, and effective rents are projected to retreat 3.8 percent to $23.90 per square foot. Also included in the report is the firm’s annual National Retail Index, a snapshot analysis that ranks 44 retail markets based on a series of 12-month forward-looking supply and demand indicators. Los Angeles moves up three places this year to No. 6. Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot for the second year in a row due to a low vacancy rate and healthy job growth. Projected job gains boosted San Diego one place to No. 2, and a lack of significant construction in recent years moved San Francisco up one notch to No. 3. Forecasted job growth elevated New York City four places to No. 4 and continued layoffs dropped New Jersey three places to No. 5, despite low vacancy and the state’s relatively steady economy. Business Journal Reporter Eric Billingsley can be reached at (818) 316-3124 or at ebillingsley@sfvbj.com.

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