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Work Begun on Calabasas Business Park

April 03, 1988

Construction has started on the $37-million Calabasas Commerce Center on an 18-acre site on the north side of the Ventura Freeway at Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas.

The developer, Ahmanson Commercial Development Co., is constructing 310,000 square feet of office, research and development, retail and restaurant space in 10 buildings designed by Ware Malcomb Architects Inc., Irvine.

The first three buildings will be completed by the first quarter of next year, with the project to be completed by the end of 1989, according to Stanley V. Michota, president of Ahmanson Commercial Development. The general contractor is Elliott Corp., Newport Beach.

"The site is in the fast-growing west San Fernando Valley technology corridor, a relatively new growth market with a large labor pool attracting businesses migrating from Warner Center, Encino and other congested areas to the east," he said.

Michota described the project as the "next generation concrete tilt-up business park." The first three buildings will be contemporary 2-story structures in texture-coated gray concrete with green glass and accent colors.

Single-story research and development buildings will have mezzanines to provide a combination of office and warehouse space with up to 27-foot clear ceiling heights and rear loading doors.

The buildings will range in size from 18,000 to 58,000 square feet, divisible to 3,000 square feet for elexibility for various size firms. The structures will be placed among landscaped mini-parks that will provide lunch-time picnic areas for employees.

Modesto ash, crape myrtle and ornamental pear trees will be planted along the Las Virgenes Road frontage and on both sides of Mureau Road, which bisects the project.

The site slopes upward on its northern boundary, separating it from the adjacent residential neighborhood. A custom home development is planned for the adjacent property to the east, Michota said.

Birch, southern magnolia and Aleppo pine trees at the building entrances, cherry trees in the parking lots and pink ironbark, coral gum and Aleppo pine on the perimeter will establish a pattern of greenery throughout the project.

A "critter path" on the southern and eastern boundaries of the project will be provided for deer and other wild animals and will be landscaped in indigenous vegetation.

The park offers users a choice of build-to-suit or leasing, according to a spokesman for Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate's Sherman Oaks office, the exclusive broker for the project.

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