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Commercial Real Estate

Koll Plans Pasadena Office Tower

September 29, 1998|MELINDA FULMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Newport Beach-based Koll Development Co. said Monday that it plans to build a five-story, $35-million office building along Pasadena's Colorado Boulevard--the first such building to be constructed in the area in about seven years.

Koll said it will begin the 171,000-square-foot concrete and steel building, dubbed Koll Corporate Center, in January. The company recently purchased the 2-acre site at 1021 E. Colorado Blvd. from Taiwan-based Allwin Investment Corp. for $5 million.

Koll officials say they acquired the site, which houses a boarded-up former auto dealership, because it was the only parcel in downtown Pasadena approved for a major office building. They also said they liked its proximity to restaurants and shops along bustling Lake Avenue.

"There's a lot of local expansion going on," said Gary Toeller, Koll senior partner. Yet, he says, because of a limited supply of land, and expensive development fees, "nobody else is building anything."

Koll plans to market the new building, with 30,000-to-50,000-square-foot floors, to companies with large "back office" or administrative operations.

Lately, many of these tenants have had a hard time finding large blocks of space in Pasadena, where vacancy in Class A office buildings has slid to 7%, according to CB Richard Ellis Services Inc. On North Lake Avenue, near Koll's project, vacancy in these newer buildings averages 2.5%.

Koll Corporate Center, which is expected to be completed by May 2000, will include 146,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a four-story parking structure. The building was designed by the Los Angeles office of Langdon Wilson Architecture.

The project has several hurdles to clear, said city planner Dave Davenport, including a plan check, which may delay its groundbreaking. But it has the support of its retail and office neighbors, he said.

Koll Corporate Center is the second investment Koll has made in the Pasadena office market this year. In May, it purchased a 50,000-square-foot building at 199 S. Lake Ave., which is now about 90% leased, primarily to the finance company Indy Mac.

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