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Trammell Crow to build 'clean-tech' complex in downtown L.A.

Developer Trammell Crow will begin work on the $40-million CleanTech Manufacturing Center at 2425 E. Washington Blvd. on hopes of attracting tenants.

September 16, 2012|By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
  • The U.S. division of shopping center giant Westfield will rent 81,124 square feet in one of the Century Plaza Towers, above, for it U.S. headquarters.
The U.S. division of shopping center giant Westfield will rent 81,124 square… (CBRE Group Inc. )

A downtown Los Angeles site where Crown Coach school buses were once manufactured has been acquired for $15.4 million by high-profile developer Trammell Crow Co., which plans to build an industrial park.

The CleanTech Manufacturing Center, three large buildings on 20 acres, will be developed on speculation, said Bradley Cox, senior managing director of Trammell Crow's Los Angeles office. That means work will begin on the $40-million complex even though no tenants have yet agreed to rent space there.

The former Crown Coach and railroad property at 2425 E. Washington Blvd., at Santa Fe Avenue, has been dormant for decades. Public officials spent seven years trying to build a state prison there but gave up in 1992 in the face of opposition from neighbors and activists.

In recent years the city has tried to make the land a key piece of the proposed CleanTech Corridor, which is intended to house a cluster of environmentally sensitive manufacturing businesses along a four-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River.

Trammell Crow hopes to have the 370,000-square-foot complex approved and built by the end of 2013. The Dallas company will work with city leaders to attract tenants in such "clean tech" businesses as electric car manufacturers or makers of solar or wind power equipment, Cox said.

If such tenants can't be found, the developer will look for renters in the food or garment businesses, both of which are thriving downtown, Cox said. "Those particular industries are looking for state-of-the-art buildings."

Developer buys L.A. site for mixed-use project

Developer Sonny Astani has bought property on Wilshire Boulevard west of downtown Los Angeles where he plans to build a $60-million apartment and retail complex.

The six-story, 220-unit development called the Valencia will rise at the northwest corner of Wilshire and Valencia Street, Astani said. He paid Horacio Carlos Vignali $7.6 million for the 1.5-acre site now occupied by vacant commercial buildings and a parking lot.

Work on the Valencia is set to begin in April and be finished by the end of 2014. The building will have shops and restaurants on the ground floor and a swimming pool and deck on the roof, Astani said.

The site is across the street from John H. Liechty Middle School and between Good Samaritan Medical Plaza and a Home Depot store. In 2006, Astani built a 200-unit condominium building called Vero a block east of the Valencia site. The Valencia will be similar to the Vero, he said.

Astani is chairman of Astani Enterprises Inc. in Beverly Hills, which has1,800 units under development in downtown, Koreatown and Hollywood.

Westfield to move U.S. headquarters to Century City

Australian shopping center giant Westfield Group, which owns some of the largest shopping centers in Southern California, will move its U.S. headquarters to Century City.

Westfield's U.S. division will rent 81,124 square feet in one of the Century Plaza Towers, the twin 44-story skyscrapers in the heart of Century City near the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel, real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc. said.

Westfield will move in May from Brentwood, where it has had offices in Wells Fargo Center for a decade, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group.

The Century Plaza Towers are owned by institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Terms of the Westfield lease were not disclosed, but the landlord is asking for nearly $3 a square foot per month, CoStar said.

Westfield owns Westfield Century City mall and is also planning a residential development in Century City.

roger.vincent@latimes.com

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