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Business Center Developers Attracted to Ventura County : Ground Broken for Oxnard 'Smart Park'

September 29, 1985

Ground was broken in Oxnard Thursday for Channel Islands Business Center, a 225-acre project described by its developer as the largest master-planned business park in Ventura County.

It is also the first of a series of "smart parks"--an extension of the "smart building" concept--utilized by General Telephone of California (GTC), which defines a smart building as one that has a computer for a brain and a network of cables and electronic sensors for nerves.

Newbury Park-based Told Corp., the developer, said that when the center is completed, it will have 3.5 million square feet of space under roof in 135 buildings and will be valued at more than $200 million. With 3,500 feet of frontage on Oxnard Boulevard (California 1), it is bounded by Rose Avenue and East Wooley Road.

Helping to get the undertaking under way, the city of Oxnard has issued $24,175,000 in variable-rate, demand industrial development bonds for land acquisition and infrastructure.

The development is planned for industrial, multi-tenant, research-and-development, office, commercial and restaurant buildings. The first 12 buildings are scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 1986, and 12 more, including a major multi-tenant building, are in the design stage.

The "smart park" concept is generally confined to Southern California at present--with the Channel Islands facility the first--but it is expected that they will be promulgated nationwide by GTE Corp., the parent company, formerly General Telephone & Electronics Corp., as "GTE smart parks."

The Channel Islands park is the largest undertaking of that kind for GTC and the largest fully networked business/industrial GTE Smart Park in the nation.

A GTC spokesman explained that the park will provide tenants with the capacity for using a full range of data and telecommunication services in a fiber-optics network that will eliminate the delays, significant expense and building obsolescence often associated with a limited communications capacity.

Two Major Elements

He added that another first for that type of park is that the center will use a hybrid fiber-optics/copper network that can be readily configured for the communications requirements of each tenant in each building from a single central control point--called a "fiber-optic node" and essentially an electronic switch.

That will eliminate the need for the cross-connect points and B-boxes typically found distributed through more traditional developments. It also will give tenants the shortest possible installation times in addition to savings on associated costs.

A "smart building" (and, by extension, a "smart park") has two major elements. Told and GTC explained the first of these is the Building Management System, which consists of design considerations for fire and life safety, entry control and security and energy management and controls for lighting, environment and elevators, all of which results in lower operating costs, better preventive maintenance and increased life of the equipment.

Word Processing Available

Shared Tenant Services allows for sharing long-distance voice calls, video and data transmission and centralized data processing. Tenants also will have available services such as word processing, copying, image transmission and electronic mail.

Told Corp., the developer, was joined in the project by three other Told companies: Told Construction Co., Camarillo, the builder; Told Real Estate Corp., Newbury Park, the broker, and Told Financial Services, also Newbury Park, financing.

The architect is Development Concepts Corp., Brentwood. Wells Fargo Realty Advisors are participating in the mortgage financing and the GTE Smart Park facilities and aspects are provided by General Telephone of California.

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