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Firm Closes Shop : Equidon Investment Bows to Office Building Glut

October 18, 1985|LESLIE BERKMAN | Times Staff Writer

Responding to the Southland's current glut of new office buildings, Equidon Investment Builders, an Irvine-based commercial development firm that has built about $250 million worth of properties since 1980, said Thursday that it has closed shop.

In its place, Equidon's chairman, John B. Parker, has revived another corporation he and his family own that will concentrate on property leasing and management, according to Equidon's former general counsel, Richard Frick.

Frick, who now is a consultant to Parker, said a number of unnamed development companies are in serious negotiations to buy part or all of Equidon Contractors, a sister company to Equidon Investment Builders.

Contractors Continue

Frick said Equidon Contractors, which provides contracting services to developers, is continuing to take new jobs and currently is working on such high-profile office projects as the Irvine Co.'s Jamboree Center in Irvine and the Atrium under development in Irvine by the French & McKenna Co.

Majority interest in both Equidon Investment Builders and Equidon Contractors is held by Parker and Douglas A. Burton, Frick said.

Frick said that Equidon Investment Builders previously built office and research and development properties in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties that were held in ownership by Parker, Burton and their partners, such as insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Equidon decided to stop developing new projects in early 1984, Frick said. He said the last of the projects, a 250,000-square-foot office building in San Diego County and a 275,000-square-foot office plaza in Culver City, were both completed about three months ago.

"The reason there was no new building undertaken was the perception there would be an oversupply (of office buildings) on the market," Frick said. He said industry experts project that it will take 12 to 18 months before the current supply of office space in Southern California is leased.

The company, which once employed 55 workers, pared its staff down in a series of layoffs since January. About 10 days ago, Frick said, the firm laid off its remaining 32 employees, 12 of whom were transferred to Parker's real estate management and leasing firm, called Parker Properties Inc.

Frick said Parker Properties, a predecessor company to Equidon that is now being revived, intends to manage most of the properties that Equidon developed in Los Angeles and Orange counties. But he said Equidon's developments in San Diego County will be managed by other firms.

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