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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Santa Clarita Builder Gets Inside Track on Funds

A Santa Clarita builder has received an investment for its next project, a $20 million residential development in Fillmore. Lance Williams and his Williams Homes Inc. received $4.1 million from a private investor to begin work on Edgewood, a 45-lot subdivision. The investment was facilitated by Johnson Capital, an Irvine real estate capital advisory firm. Dennis Cisterna and Gabe Weinert, senior vice presidents at Johnson’s Los Angeles office, worked as intermediaries. Cisterna said the investor was a “quasi-retired” friend who wanted to “get back in the game.” “And this is a very low risk deal,” Cisterna added. “There is still a lack of inventory in a lot of these markets, and they (Williams) have already had success with another project in the area.” Edgewood is slated for Mountain View and River Streets in Fillmore with average home sizes of roughly 2,400 square-feet on average lots of 8,000 square-feet. Prices are expected to start in the high $300,000s. “Fillmore is a great and affordable housing alternative for families in Ventura County,” said Williams, whose firm is nearing completion on Oak Haven, a 34-unit sold out subdivision also in Fillmore. “We just finished Oak Haven and already sold out. We proved that there’s demand.” Williams Homes has developments across Southern California, with nearby communities in Valencia and Santa Paula. Well Ripened Sunkist Growers Inc., the more than a century-old cooperative of citrus farmers, has found new headquarters in Valencia. The group bought the 96,115 square-foot LNR Entrada Gateway Center at 27770 N. Entertainment Drive in an off-market transaction last month from developer LNR Property Corp. of Miami Beach. Financial details were not disclosed. Sunkist intends to make the building its headquarters given that it sold its longtime offices in Sherman Oaks to IMT Capital Inc. for an undisclosed price in February. The Sherman Oaks developer has plans to build out the 8.3-acre campus at 14130 Riverside Drive with mixed-use buildings. Sunkist has continued to lease the Riverside Drive building, constructed in 1971 as its headquarters, since the sale. The lease expires in August 2015 but Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations for Sunkist, could not say when the cooperative plans to move. “Our next step will be to configure and build out the interior space that we intend to occupy,” she said in an email. The Valencia building is 48 percent leased, with health care wristband manufacturer Precision Dynamics Corp. occupying about 44,000 square-feet, according to CoStar Group Inc. Sunkist plans to take the balance. Wickham said the Valencia building will house about 185 employees, including the company’s sister cooperative Fruit Growers Supply Co. “The Valencia region was selected to be nearer to our growers and still keep our current employee group intact,” she said. Sunkist was founded in 1893 and is the oldest continually operating citrus cooperative in the country. It’s a not-for-profit marketing entity owned and operated by thousands of citrus farmers in California and Arizona. LNR once had a stake in Valencia developer Newhall Land & Farming Co. But the firm has been working to exit the Santa Clarita Valley for some time, highlighted by the sale of its 50 percent stake in the Westfield Valencia Town Center to New York pension fund TIAA-CREF on Dec. 31 for $195 million. Randy Cude, vice president at the Valencia office of NAI Capital Inc., who was not involved in the deal, called it a “huge spark.” for the submarket. “This is a home run,” he said. “It’s a lot of office space coming off the market and a large tenant.” John Sabourin, senior vice president at the Newport Beach office of CBRE Inc. represented Sunkist in both transactions. He declined to comment. Chatsworth Purchase An investment firm has bought a 130,000 square-foot building in Chatsworth. Plummer Group LLC paid $12.8 million to acquire the Chatsworth Tech Center from Pacific Equities of Los Angeles. The flex building at 21540-21622 Plummer St. is about 8 percent leased. David Hoffberg, a senior vice president at the Van Nuys office of Delphi Business Properties Inc., said the large number of parking spots – 500 – and the Chatsworth location made the space attractive to the buyer.“ Opportunities to acquire buildings like this with features like this in this market are few,” said Hoffberg, who represented the buyer, along with broker assistant Teresa Ernest. Pacific Equities was represented by John Erickson, senior vice president at the Valencia office of Colliers International and the team of John DeGrinis, Patrick DuRoss and John Abraham from the firm’s Encino office. Staff Reporter Elliot Golan can be reached at (818)316-3123 or egolan@sfvbj.com.

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