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September 16
1872 - Mitchell adobe home in Soledad Canyon area first used as schoolhouse; genesis of 1879 Sulphur Springs School District [story]
Mitchell adobe


Trammell Crow Company and Clarion Partners, LLC announced Monday that they have closed escrow on the remaining 137-acre portion of land for The Center at Needham Ranch in Santa Clarita.

“We are pleased to have closed escrow on the second and final phase of land for our state-of-the art industrial park,” said John Balestra, principal with TCC’s SoCal–Los Angeles Business Unit.

“As one of the largest undeveloped fully entitled industrial development sites in Southern California, we are looking forward to proceeding with the second and final phase of this long-planned development,” Balestra said.

The Center at Needham Ranch is a master-planned, 252-acre industrial development located in the Santa Clarita Valley immediately adjacent to the San Fernando Valley and Highway 14. The site is approximately one mile north of Interstate 5, providing immediate access to the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles region, with more than five million people living within a 30-minute commute.

The development team broke ground on the first phase of the project in late 2017 and is completing construction on Phase I, which is comprised of approximately 900,000 square feet of Class A industrial space spanning six buildings that range in size from 70,000 to 210,000 square feet.

Plans are currently underway to commence construction on Phase 2 of the project in summer 2020. The Phase 2 site is fully entitled for up to 2.5 million square feet of additional commercial/industrial space and provides the ability for build-to-suit development of up to 500,000 square feet for manufacturing, logistics, E-Commerce or entertainment/media campus development.

“The city of Santa Clarita is one of the most business-friendly and highly responsive cities in Los Angeles County and is the premier location for business in this region,” said Michael Marrone, senior vice president with Clarion Partners, LLC in Los Angeles.

“There are many advantages to businesses operating in the city of Santa Clarita, including a lower cost of doing business, a tax incentive credit program, film and television production credits, and research and development tax credits,” he said. “The city of Santa Clarita has been an outstanding partner in our efforts and we are proud to be making this additional investment in the community.

“The site benefits from a strategic location that is ideal for manufacturing and distribution within the greater L.A. and Southern California regions,” Marrone said. “Located within the ‘Thirty Mile Zone,’ The Center at Needham Ranch is ideal for film production and offers access to abundant skilled labor. We are excited to deliver the final phase of our best-in-class project to the city of Santa Clarita community which at full build-out will create thousands of employment opportunities for local residents.”

The history of the land dates back to 1889. It was owned by Henry Clay Needham, a prohibitionist who bought large sections of the land in order to establish his own private alcohol-free zone, a so-called “dry colony.” His plans never materialized, but Needham did later become an important community leader and philanthropist.

After his death, Needham’s heirs sold 770 acres, bounded roughly by Pine Street, San Fernando Road and Sierra Highway, to Mark Gates, Sr., who eventually sold off a 220-acre portion. In the 1990s, Gates’ son, Mark Jr., began entitlement of the project to develop the remaining 584 acres as the Needham Ranch business park and the project was initially approved in 2003.

The Gates family transferred an oak-studded, 240-acre riparian section to the city of Santa Clarita as permanent open space. The historic “Live Oak Manor” rock archway, built in 1889 and a reminder of the rich history in the area, was recently relocated and restored by Trammell Crow Company and is still visible from Sierra Highway.

CBRE’s Craig Peters and Doug Sonderegger are the leasing agents for the property and handled the land sale.

“We are enthusiastic about the level of occupier interest we are seeing today, as there remains a severe scarcity of high-quality state-of-the-art Class A space in the Los Angeles North market. We have seen a recent spike in user requirements from E-Commerce, retail distribution, manufacturing and logistics occupiers, some of which is driven by supply chain reconfiguration related to COVID-19,” Peters said.

“Additionally, the media and entertainment industry is beginning to reemerge and there is very strong demand for production space and entertainment industry support services that is driving strong interest in our state-of-the-art facilities given our highly strategic close-in location, minutes from the 405/5 freeways with tremendous access to all of Southern California,” Peters said. “We are finding that occupiers are focusing on the operational and cost savings advantages our project provides given our 36-foot building clear height advantage, which is unique for industrial space in the region.”

See the Center at Needham Ranch sales brochure here.

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