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$50-Million Business Center Set : County to Gain from Lease of Former Long Beach Hospital Site

March 02, 1986|DAVID M. KINCHEN | Times Staff Writer

The ground breaking Thursday of the first phase of the $50-million Long Beach-Signal Hill Business Center will continue the tradition of long-term land leases between Los Angeles County and private developers that dates back at least as far as the construction of Marina del Rey in the early '60s

The 26-acre business center, located on the site of the former Long Beach General Hospital at the intersection of Willow Street and Redondo Avenue, is being developed by Goldrich & Kest Industries/Sheldon Appel Co. through the first long-term land lease under the county's new Asset Management Program.

Under this program, the county generates revenue by leasing its surplus land to private developers who make long-term improvements.

"We expect the 66-year ground lease for the new development to bring $1.3 billion in new revenue to Los Angeles County and provide about 1,500 new permanent jobs to the area," said County Supervisor Deane Dana, in whose district the development will be located. The cities of Long Beach and Signal Hill, where the site is located, will also benefit, receiving an estimated $46 million to $48 million in property taxes when the three-phase development is completed.

"This project represents a significant first for the county by making the county a real partner with the developer through a land lease that provides a constant stream of money over its life, with the county realizing the ultimate appreciation at the end of the lease," according to Jona Goldrich, chief executive officer of Culver City-based Goldrich & Kest.

Health services formerly provided at the old hospital--which closed November, 1983--were relocated temporarily to the county's El Cerrito Health Center pending completion of the Los Angeles County Comprehensive Health Center at 1333 Chestnut Ave., Long Beach, that will be dedicated Wednesday.

Eastman Inc., a major national distributor of office and stationery supplies that is not a part of Eastman Kodak, will occupy the entire 450,000-square-foot, $20-million first phase of the project scheduled for completion in October on a 12-acre site at the southwest corner of Willow Street and Redondo Avenue in Signal Hill. The remaining 14 acres will be on the east side of Redondo Avenue in Long Beach.

Long, Low Profile

The Eastman facility will consolidate operations of the wholly owned subsidiary of David Jones Inc., a publicly held Australian firm that also owns the Buffum's department store chain. David Jones Inc. is a unit of Adelaide Ship Lines of Australia.

Robert L. Barnett, of Beverly Hills, is the architect of the structure, with landscape architecture by Galper/Baldon Associates, Venice, and J. A. Stewart Construction Co., Westminster, the general contractor. The working interior facilities will be custom designed by Eastman and by Automotion Inc., a Chicago-based designer of retail distribution systems.

The 343-foot-long, three-story office portion of the building will present a long and low profile with a glass-curtain wall and two shades of blue and white. The Willow Street entrance to the 60,000 square-foot office portion will be characterized by a large auto-turn circle.

Design a Challenge

"Designing the structure was a challenge due to the need to arrange Eastman's space and physical requirements on a limited and irregularly shaped site," Barnett said.

James C. Hankla, chief administrative officer for Los Angeles County, said that the county will receive a minimum base rent from the project in addition to a percentage of the gross income.

"The percentage rent will range from 6% to 20% of the project's gross revenue, depending on the use," Hankla said.

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