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Commercial Scene : Sierra Gateway Center Rides Palmdale Boom

June 25, 1989

The massive residential development boom that has made the Antelope Valley one of the fastest growing areas of the Southland is having its commercial counterpart in the Sierra Gateway Center.

The $350-million, 150-acre master-planned development will occupy a mile of frontage along the west side of Sierra Highway between Avenue P and Avenue O in Palmdale, opposite U.S. Air Force Plant 42 operated by the Lockheed Corp. at the Palmdale Airport.

Developed by Torrance-based LAMCO, Sierra Gateway Center will eventually make up more than 3.5 million square feet and more than 100 residential units, LAMCO President John Long said. The multifamily element of Sierra Gateway Center will be on 7 to 10 acres on the north side of the project, near Avenue O, he said.

Palmdale is the fastest growing of the state's 444 incorporated cities, growing from about 23,000 residents in 1986 to more than 56,000 today, he said.

Construction is under way on the two-building first phase, with each building totaling 55,000 square feet, but designed to be readily expanded to 85,000 square feet, Long said. Occupancy of the concrete tilt-up structures, designed by the Nadel Partnership of West Los Angeles, is scheduled for the end of the year, he said. He added that the landscaped, park-like setting of the project is of a "higher quality . . . than those presently existing in Palmdale."

When completed, the project will have created 11,000 new jobs and will generate more than $2 million in property tax revenue each year. It is projected to produce more than $600 million in direct annual sales, Long said.

Sierra Gateway will accommodate small and large users, from manufacturing to research and development to offices, according to John Battle of Beitler Commercial Realty Services, the leasing agent.

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