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Texas Firm Wins Nod to Develop 22-Story Tower

August 27, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale Redevelopment Agency has tentatively selected a leading national developer over a local firm to build what could become the largest office complex in the city and bring a major employer to Glendale.

The agency on Tuesday unanimously accepted a preliminary proposal by the Texas-based Lincoln Property Co. to build a 22-story, 525,000-square-foot office tower on a two-block site bordered by Brand Boulevard, Monterey Road, Louise Street and the Verdugo Wash south of Glenoaks Boulevard.

The proposed development is to become the corporate headquarters of the Carnation Co., which plans to move about 1,000 employees from the mid-Wilshire Los Angeles location it has occupied since 1949, said Richard R. Cheney, Carnation vice president of administrative services.

Cheney said the company considered more than 100 sites in Southern California before it selected Glendale. "The central location of Glendale is important to the demographics of our employees and the marketing program and communications with the city have been very clear," Cheney said.

Lincoln Property Co. of Los Angeles, a subsidiary of the Texas firm, is the proposed developer. John R. Miller, a company spokesman, said construction should begin late next spring, with completion expected by mid-1990.

The agency action gives Lincoln the exclusive right to negotiate development plans with the city, which has the power to purchase property from owners and sell it at a low price to the developer. The agency still has the right to reject a final proposal, city officials said.

The Lincoln proposal also is backed by Glendale Federal Savings & Loan, which owns part of the development site and has pledged to lease space in the new building, said Richard H. Bressler, GlenFed administrative vice president.

Headquarters Adjacent

Corporate headquarters of Glendale Federal, the fifth largest savings and loan in the nation, are next to the site. Bressler said Glendale Federal has agreed to sell its part of the development site to Lincoln.

The agency action defeated an attempt by Sierra Land Group of Glendale to build a similar high-rise on the site.

Sierra, which owns the largest and most strategic part of the development site, received preliminary approval from the city more than three years ago to replace its three-story headquarters at Brand and Monterey with a 12-story office development. That project never was built.

Sierra, instead, proposed this month to build a 22-story complex matching Lincoln's proposal, said Susan Shick, deputy redevelopment director. However, Shick said Sierra has no commitments from lessees.

Don Freeberg, president of Sierra, told agency members Tuesday that his company should be given priority to build the complex because it is a primary property owner. "We are entitled to preference," Freeberg said.

City officials said they selected the Lincoln proposal because of the company's reputation as one of the two largest developers in the nation and the commitments it has received from Carnation and GlenFed.

New Complex

In other action Tuesday, the agency initiated steps to permit development of another new office and restaurant complex at 500 N. Central Ave. The Howard-Platz Group of Glendale proposes to build a 103,000-square-foot, six-story office building, a 2,000-seat multi-screen movie theater and an enlarged McDonald's restaurant. The project would replace the current McDonald's and several apartment buildings along Milford Street between Central and Orange Street, Shick said.

Owners of property on Milford have 45 days in which to submit their own development proposals to the agency.

The proposed new development follows completion of four major high-rise office buildings in the downtown redevelopment area this year, which has added more than 1 million square feet of office space. City officials said more than 80% of the new space is leased.

Another six-story office building is under construction at 411 N. Central Ave., just outside the redevelopment zone. That project, to be completed next August, will provide 60,000 square feet of office space, according to a spokesman for the developers, Central Associates of Glendale.

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