Realtor William S. Goodglick has watched the bustling area of Los Angeles International Airport sprout from a vast expanse of beanfields where a youthful aircraft industry chose to spread its wings.
"The north side along Century Boulevard was not planned. It grew like Topsy, in spurts of private development," says Goodglick, who has been buying and selling property in the area for almost 30 years.
The south side, on the other hand, reflects Chevron Land & Development Co.'s far-sighted plan to develop, early on, a master concept for commercial development. "They did what they set out to do."
In the early stages of urban growth, airport areas were not considered viable for hotel or commercial development, Goodglick recalls. That, of course, has all been changed.
Goodglick handled the sale of a defunct supermarket in Westchester, on the strength of a very important asset--unlimited parking. With a second floor and atrium added on, the market property became the first office building of the entire airport area, and was leased in its entirety to TRW.
"Everyone had said it was foolish to try to develop office space in a traditional industrial area. But I was immediately vindicated when a five-story office building went up across the street and was also leased to TRW," Goodglick adds.
Subsequently Tishman and Del Webb entered the arena in joint venture with McCullough Motors and built a full-scale 10-story office building. Construction was started simultaneously on the International Hotel.
Today, within a four-mile radius of the theme building at LAX, there is a greater concentration of hotel rooms than some metropolitan areas have in their entirety, Goodglick says. "That says a lot for the business vibrancy in Los Angeles."
In the combined Century Boulevard Corridor and the El Segundo Corridor along Imperial Highway there are currently 12 million square feet of occupied office space, the backbone of which is the aerospace industry and related research and development areas. Most other industrial operations have gradually shifted to more southerly locations.
"From beanfields to urban majesty," Goodglick muses.
"Now the question is not what to do with a sprawling beanfield, but how to handle what little space is left."