Few people see as much real estate action in the fictional high-roller world of "Monopoly" as Thousand Oaks developer Moshe Silagi has seen in real life over the past 18 months.
Last week, the Silagi Development firm completed construction of a 55,000-square-foot office building in Thousand Oaks and is nearing completion of construction and 100% leasing on a three-story office complex in Westlake Village. Both projects have already been sold to Arden Realty.
The developments are the latest in a string of real estate transactions in which Silagi has participated since mid-1997--a period during which he sold 15 office buildings encompassing 420,000 square feet, and acquired and began development on another 350,000 square feet of office space.
Silagi said his buying and selling sprees are indicative of changes in the local real estate market.
"I have been a developer in Thousand Oaks, in the Conejo Valley, since 1985, and I accumulated a substantial amount of real estate," Silagi said. "At the end of 1997, major REITS [real estate investment trusts] were out searching for properties to acquire."
At that time, Silagi made his property available. Now, he said, he intends to hang on to his more recent purchases based on his faith in the future of the local market.
"I have a tremendous trust in the real estate market and hope for limited and controlled growth in Ventura County," Silagi said. "More and more, users have discovered this area, particularly the east portion of the Conejo Valley, as a very desirable, business-friendly community."
Silagi's recent property transactions included the sale of the 145,000-square-foot Grande Vista Business Park--the first speculative industrial complex in the Conejo Valley in a decade--to the Burke Real Estate Group of Santa Ana.
On the other side of the ledger, Silagi acquired a 6.2-acre parcel that will house a pair of 50,000-square-foot office buildings to make up the Kenwood Corporate Center near Kanan Road off the Ventura Freeway.
The firm purchased a separate 3.5-acre property in the same Agoura Hills area to develop the 50,000-square-foot Center Court and farther south is eyeing development of a 100,000-square-foot Agoura Hills Gateway office complex. Silagi has also purchased 6 acres to develop a two-story office complex within the Lombard Business Center in Oxnard.
Proposals on all of the developments are expected to go before planning commissions in early 1999, with construction to begin by mid-1999, pending approval.
"These buildings are long-term holdings," Silagi said.
"We are trying to capture upper-scale businesses which are migrating to the eastern portion of the Conejo Valley," he said. "We are trying to attract mature companies looking to move to this area due to the upper management and owners of the companies living in Westlake, Thousand Oaks, Lake Sherwood, Calabasas, Hidden Valley. People are looking to bring their businesses closer to home."
CB Richard Ellis is handling leasing of the Oxnard project, and Westcord Commercial Real Estate Services is responsible for the Thousand Oaks developments.
In addition to the Conejo Valley and Ventura County projects, Silagi owns retail centers in West Covina and Montclair totaling 109,000 square feet, and has some residential development in Hawaii. Silagi is also in negotiation on 11 acres in San Luis Obispo, which he has targeted for a 10-building, 192,000-square-foot research-and-development center for start-up and small to mid-size companies.