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Opus West Acquires Conejo Corridor Site

September 05, 2000|BRAD BERTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Opus West Corp.'s new Los Angeles division has acquired an office development site in the Conejo Corridor, an area seeing strong demand from technology companies.

Opus West, the regional operating company affiliated with giant Minnetonka, Minn.-based developer Opus Corp., purchased 8.7 acres adjacent to the future Westlake Village City Hall and plans a speculative 135,000-square-foot office development expected to cost about $25 million.

Opus bought the Ventura Freeway-front property near Lindero Canyon Road from Raypak Inc. and plans to demolish Raypak's 1960s-vintage pool-heater manufacturing facility to make way for a pair of two-story Class A office buildings. Raypak will move to Oxnard in December.

Opus will break ground shortly thereafter on the development, dubbed Westlake Village City Center. Completion is expected by August, just before the new City Hall opens.

Raypak has requested that the site's sales price remain confidential, said Gary Toeller, vice president/development with Phoenix-based Opus West's office in Westwood.

Nicholas Gregg, CB Richard Ellis first vice president, brokered the property sale. Opus has retained Gregg and colleagues Michael Slater and Ken Ashen to handle leasing.

With the growth of high-tech, biotech, telecommunications and other industries in the area, office vacancies along the corridor have dropped below 10%, Toeller said.

Midyear data from locally based brokerage Colliers Seeley shows that the Conejo Valley boasts the tightest office vacancy rate within the greater San Fernando Valley/Ventura County marketplace at just 6.8%.

"The lack of available space in the Conejo Valley is a frustration to the cluster of high-tech companies that have located there and who are rapidly expanding," the report says.

Not surprisingly, the corridor shares with the entertainment-heavy eastern San Fernando Valley the area's top average asking office rental rate of about $26 per square foot annually.

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