By JOYZELLE DAVIS
Call it a big deal for a little city.
Next month, Kearney Real Estate Co. will seek approval from the city of El Segundo for a $200 million, 1.1 million-square-foot development on a former Chevron Corp. oil field in the shadow of Los Angeles International Airport.
The project is expected to include three to five office buildings, two hotels including a Hilton and practice facilities for the Los Angeles Kings and Lakers.
"What's really great about this project is that it involves high-visibility businesses that are not only high quality but also have high name recognition," said James Hansen, economic development director for the city of El Segundo.
"When I first came here (in 1994), I never thought we'd be able to attract a second Starbucks," Hansen said. "Now were getting dozens of calls from interested companies."
The proposed Grand Avenue Corporate Center is scheduled for a public hearing before the El Segundo Planning Commission on March 26. If approved by the commission and the City Council, construction could begin as early as this summer, said Laurie Jester, a senior city planner.
The developer, Kearny Real Estate Co., is a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds. The developer is in negotiations with several potential partners for the project, according to city officials, including the owners of the Lakers NBA basketball team and the Kings NHL hockey team.
The Kings are considering buying six acres to build a training center that would include two ice rinks and a basketball court, said Mike Altieri, media relations director for the Kings.
The facility would be built by Ed Roski's Majestic Realty, based in the City of Industry. Roski, co-owner of the Kings, is also building the $300 million Staples Center sports arena downtown that will become the new home of the Kings and Lakers.
The Kings currently practice at the Iceoplex in North Hills, and the Lakers practice at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood and Loyola Marymount University in Westchester.
Because both teams have long been based in Inglewood, many of their executives and players live on the Westside and would prefer a practice facility there instead of downtown, team officials say. In addition, the new practice facility would be open to the public when it is not in use by the teams.
"That's one of the most exciting parts of the proposal," said Bill Mason, president of El Segundo's Chamber of Commerce, who noted that there are no other ice skating facilities in the South Bay. The developers have also proposed building an outdoor roller hockey rink and offices for the Lakers and Kings.
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