Strawberry Patch Turns Into Commercial Plum

May 04, 1986|EVELYN De WOLFE

What until a decade ago was a strawberry patch, has evolved into a burgeoning commercial center in Cypress.

Beset by an image as a bedroom community and a high tax rate, the Orange County community in the 1970s approved a zoning initiative that designated 700 acres of undeveloped land for commercial and industrial use--an area previously earmarked for single-family homes.

"Quietly, over the past seven years, a center of industrial and high-tech development has grown up along Katella Avenue, east of Los Alamitos Race Track, where currently there are 1.8 million square feet of new buildings, either occupied or under construction," said Stephen Hoy, leasing specialist for Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services, alluding to the area's spurting growth.

Cypress is experiencing a welcome increase in employment opportunities as a result of the influx of major employers, according to Christine Eynon, city planning director, who disclosed that the citywide employment figure of 7,100 in 1980 is expected to increase to 27,500 by the year 2000.

Trend-Setting Company

The trend setter for the area is Warland-Cypress Business Park, valued at $200 million upon completion and consisting of 200 master-planned acres in three areas of the 700-acre Cypress Business Park. Coldwell Banker is the leasing agent.

In 1979, the Santa Monica-based Warland Investments Ltd. introduced to the area a 153,000-square-foot industrial building on a nine-acre site now occupied by Varec, a division of Emerson Electric.

In keeping with all Warland buildings, the guiding factor is flexibility of the structure to allow for conversion to higher-end use by adding office improvements and expanded parking on adjacent land.

Hoy described Warland-Cypress as a client who focuses on the viability of a product and a long-term ownership commitment. This, he feels, is translated into quality projects reflecting a team effort in the area of design, construction, landscaping and leasing.

Development Team

Warland's development team includes the Irvine-based architectural firm of Howard F. Thompson & Associates Inc., Shankle Construction of Anaheim, general contractor, and Coldwell Banker's Hoy, who is associate vice president, marketing consultant and agent in the firm's Anaheim office. Landscape architect for the Warland projects is Richard Price & Associates, Irvine.

Made up of a family partnership headed by Louis Warschaw, Warland Investments Ltd. has been involved in real estate for more than 30 years and has developed and retains in excess of 2 million square feet of commercial/industrial space in the City of Commerce.

The firm has just opened a phase of its Cypress Fashion Plaza, a 330,000-square-foot retail center on 11.5 acres fronting Katella and Knott avenues, with the remaining 17.3 acres in that sector still in the planning stages.

Located at the northeast corner of Katella Avenue and Valley View Street is the first parcel of the Warland project, an area that consists of about 80 acres of build-to-suit property, available from one to 30 acres. The Varec and Security Pacific buildings are located there, as well as Genisco, which relocated from the South Bay in 1983 to its new 3.8-acre site.

Other Development Firms

The Information Systems Group of McDonnell Douglas Corp. moved from Long Beach and occupies a 78,000-square-foot building, and AT&T Network Systems is on a three-acre site; Rockwell International is leasing a 68,000-square-foot structure, and Kierulff/Ducommun Inc. relocated from the City of Commerce to a 127,000-square-foot building.

Another Warland development parcel, located at the southwest corner of Katella Avenue and Valley View Street, has 100 acres to be parceled out for build-to-suit projects of 10 or more acres.

Other major developers and user companies are also within the city-designated 700-acre business park area. McDonnell Douglas Land Co. has developed more than 60 acres for tenants and also occupies a 185,000-square-foot structure on the site.

Yamaha Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors and Panasonic each owns 20- to 25-acre sites on which they have built about 200,000-square-foot, high-end structures for regional management/sales and distribution facilities.

Race Track Plans

Cypress Land is developing about 70 acres just west of Warland's Fashion Plaza area with a variety of tenants, including Fiat/Ferrari. Cabot, Cabot & Forbes purchased about 25 acres in 1984, and has subsequently developed four buildings totaling about 200,000 square feet for office, research & development and high-tech use.

Hollywood Park Realty Enterprises Inc. owns Los Alamitos Race Track, a 300-acre horse racing facility and plans to develop 150 of those acres for commercial, office, hotel and restaurant use.

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