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Japanese Firms at Home in Cypress

October 04, 1987|BILL LYNDE | Special to The Times and Lynde is a Cypress free-lance writer. and

Contrary to popular belief, cash-laden Japanese investing in U. S. real estate are not putting all their yen in downtown Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and the like. They're spending in suburbia, too.

Small (6.2 square miles) Cypress in northwest Orange County is a prime example. Yamaha Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Sales, Sony, Panasonic Technics Corp. and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America have built major installations in the 500-acre Cypress Business Park since 1980. More are coming.

About one-fifth, 92.7 acres, of the total acreage represents Japanese investment in the southeast quadrant of the city. These are mainly national or regional headquarters. Yet familiar American names--McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell, AT&T, Target--dot the map in 41% of the area developed to date by eight major landowners.

City building permits show that the Japanese have spent $27,664,648 so far in construction.

Two Headquarters

Highest costs were incurred by Mitsubishi for its two national headquarters layouts. Mitsubishi Electric Sales' building permit was $7,181,000. Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America built a parts depot, training center, laboratory and design studio in 1983, with permits coming in at $5,065,064.

Site preparation began earlier this month for a 125,350-square foot headquarters building for Mitsubishi Motor Sales. This three-story unit will house offices, computer center and an employee cafeteria, and will be completed at the end of 1988.

Yamaha Motor Corp., earliest of the Japanese investors, erected offices, a research building and warehouse on a 25-acre tract in 1980. Those and several other refinements have totaled $2,989,413 in building permits.

Panasonic, facing Yamaha on Katella Avenue, spent $4,728,413 in three increments. Sony put up a five-story office building totaling 108,436 square feet and moved in this past spring. The building permit was for $7,700,758.

Ramada Inn Planned

The Sony location is a five-acre portion of a 63-acre parcel owned by McDonnell Douglas, while the five-story McAuto office building occupies 9.2 acres. In the southeast corner of this property, a seven-story, 178-room Ramada Inn is under construction and is scheduled to be completed next year.

McDonnell Douglas and Ramada are joint owners of this venture where Valley View Street intersects Katella. The building permit is for $7,153,500, but M. D. C. Realty thinks the final figure, including appurtenances, will be more like $11.5 million.

Warland Investments Ltd. of Santa Monica is the biggest land holder in the Cypress Business Park. Its 202.2 acres are located on three separate sites. Rockwell and AT&T have small installations there. In the construction stage by Warland are six multitenant commercial buildings totaling 92,000 square feet on Knott Avenue just north of Katella.

The construction cost is ticketed at $15 million. This month is the targeted completion date. Warland still holds 100.5 acres of undeveloped space at the southwest corner of Valley View and Katella.

Race Track Future

Cypress View Ltd. has begun construction of similar-use commercial units on a 39.3-acre tract at the southwest corner of Cerritos Avenue and Valley View.

But perhaps the biggest development spurt in the area is yet to come. That is, if the 299-acre Los Alamitos Race Track and adjacent golf course within Cypress city limits are rezoned from public service to commercial use.

Mayor John Kanle believes the rezoning question will come up for City Council review in October or November. An insurance company is said to be interested in buying the entire package for development. Meanwhile, angry golf addicts, who have been shut out of the closed golf course and who strenuously oppose rezoning, have filed petitions with the city trying to get the issue on the November ballot.

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