Construction will begin Wednesday on the $27-million Paragon Business Center, designed to become the northern gateway to the California Commerce Center in Ontario.
The first phase of the three-phase project will include 17 buildings totaling 229,781 square feet and is scheduled for completion this fall, according to Jeffrey B. Allen, managing partner of the Western region of Paragon Group, which will develop the complex in partnership with Cal Fed Income Properties.
The first phase will include 12 single-tenant industrial buildings totaling l32,515 square feet of space, 3 multitenant industrial buildings with 59,694 square feet and 2 multitenant service retail buildings with 37,572 square feet.
The second and third phases will see two and three additional office buildings constructed, respectively, providing 235,696 square feet. The complete complex will contain 465,000 square feet, and will be the firm's largest Southern California development to date, Allen said.
Projection of Needs
Paragon Business Center, at the southwest corner of Airport Drive and Milliken Avenue, will be on the northern edge of the California Commerce Center, which is located immediately east of Ontario International Airport and adjacent to Interstates 10 and 15.
"The project is phased to meet the current and projected needs of users by offering single-tenant industrial buildings, multitenant industrial buildings and service retail space in the first phase and two-story research-and-development office space in the second and third phases," said Jeremy B. Fletcher, vice president of Southern California development for Paragon.
"We feel Paragon Business Center has the major components that are vital and necessary for a successful project in the competitive Southern California marketplace. They include a highly visible and accessible location, proximity to a major international airport, ample skilled labor force, nearby affordable housing and local government that welcomes and supports new industry."
Designed by Architects Orange of Orange, the Paragon buildings will feature a modern, streamline design scheme using a "square" pattern design concept, Fletcher said. Architectural elements include light-gray concrete tilt-up panels, gray ceramic-tile accent banding, colored mullions and glass skylights at major entries.
All buildings will be air conditioned, and the two-story buildings in the second and third phases will have elevators. The project will be landscaped to give it a campus-like environment.
A parking ratio of 3.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet has been allowed in Phase 1, Fletcher said. The ratio for future office buildings will be four spaces per 1,000 square feet, he said.
The Elliott Corp. of Newport Beach is the general contractor, and leasing will be handled by Len Santorro of the City of Industry office of Coldwell Banker.
The Paragon Business Center will be located in an area of San Bernardino County known as Inland Empire West, composed of the cities of Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana. According to research by Paragon, the area recorded the largest increase in population of any metropolitan area in California from 1983 to 1985.
Fastest Growing County
The three cities, with a combined 1985 population of 270,000, maintained a skilled labor base whose median income of $31,770 per year exceeded Los Angles County's median household income by more than $8,000 per year, the company officials said.
Paragon's research found that San Bernardino County, the largest in area in the United States, is the fastest growing county in population in California with 895,016 residents, expected to increase to 1.25 million by 1990.
According to Chase Manhattan Bank Econometrics, the county will have the nation's fastest rate of population and economic growth during the next five years. The researchers predicted that the county will become less of a "bedroom" community for Los Angeles County and much more of an employment center for its residents.
Paragon Group is one of the nation's largest privately held diversified real estate development companies, with properties in more than 45 cities in 15 states.
Its completed Southern California projects include Warner/Red Hill Business Center in Tustin and Paragon Business Center in Fountain Velley. A Paragon Business center also is under construction in Valencia.