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Business 'Campus' Set for Northridge

July 27, 1986|DAVID M. KINCHEN | Times Staff Writer

Trammell Crow Co. has acquired the 44-acre site of Harman International Industries Inc. in a $45-million transaction and plans to redevelop the prime Northridge property as a business "campus" combining office, service center and manufacturing uses.

Allen K. Meredith, managing partner of the West Los Angeles and Ventura County office of the Dallas-based development concern, said that acquisition of the property at Balboa Boulevard and Napa Street, just north of the Van Nuys Airport, qualifies as one of the largest transactions completed in the San Fernando Valley.

Cushman & Wakefield represented Harman International, the seller, and First National Bank of Chicago financed the transaction.

"Harman International Business Campus will be a mixed-used business project, since it combines 110,000 square feet of existing office space, 416,600 square feet of manufacturing space and 160,000 square feet of new service center space that we will build," Meredith said.

He added that Trammell Crow Co., one of the largest developers in the nation, will create a "unified, campus-like business environment from what had been an underdeveloped site with a series of unrelated activities."

Upgrading, Rehabilitation

The strategic site has been characterized by a walled-off parcel along Balboa Boulevard, he added, saying that the design by Arechaederra/Hong/Treiman Architects Inc., Santa Monica, opens up this vital frontage. The general contractor is Snyder Langston of Irvine.

The redevelopment of the property will consist of the upgrading of four existing office buildings totaling 132,560 square feet, the rehabilitation of the 416,000-square-foot loudspeaker manufacturing facility of JBL, a unit of Harman International; the renovation of a 122,800-square-foot building occupied by Micom, and the construction of the 160,000-square-foot service center/research and development building.

"We're going to add 500 parking spaces, from about 2,000 now, creating the spaces by demolishing about 25,000 square feet of space in two buildings," Meredith said, adding that construction of the service center building is expected to begin this fall with a spring, 1987 completion.

Meredith said that the project represents a total investment of $65 million and will benefit the entire central San Fernando Valley.

"With redevelopment of established areas becoming the only alternative for development in major parts of the Valley, we have turned our attention to acquiring older existing facilities and bringing them to contemporary standards," he said.

Firms Sign Leases

JBL has signed a long-term lease with Trammell Crow for its facility as part of the sale/lease-back transaction, and the ITT-Gilfillan division has taken a five-year lease with a five-year option on one of the 32,120 square-foot office buildings and has an option on a second.

Micom occupies all of its building and has three one-year options on its lease. Trammell Crow Co. is handling leasing for the project. Meredith said he plans to relocate his office from Westwood to the project.

Don Esters, president of JBL, said that Harman International decided to get out of the real estate business and concentrate on its main business of consumer electronics.

"We (Harman) were holding a major real estate asset that was greatly undervalued on our books," Esters said. "We are not in the real estate business; Trammell Crow and Allen Meredith are."

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