The industrial vacancy rate for the Santa Clarita Valley remained low at 4.4 percent, which is down from 4.58 percent in the first quarter, Linn said.

In the Antelope Valley, retail activity picked up at the Marketplace in Palmdale, where construction began on a 24,500-square-foot Barnes & Noble as well as Lowe's, a 115,000-square-foot home improvement center. Both are slated to open in early 2000.

Across the street is the Antelope Valley Mall, which boasts a 98 percent occupancy rate. In the last quarter, construction continued there on a 150,000-square-foot Dillard's department store, which is slated to open this fall.

Besides Dillard's, an additional 12,000 square feet of retail space will be added to the enclosed mall. When completed, it will total 1.2 million square feet, according to Larry Grooms, president of the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance.

In Lancaster, the Factory Outlet Center was sold to SafCo Capital Corp. of Los Angeles for a reported $7.5 million. The 24-acre outlet mall opened in 1994, but it has been in receivership. The new owners have not announced their plans for the mall, which currently is only 30 percent occupied with stores like Big Dog, Mega Vitamins and Levi Strauss.

"We lost our retail market for awhile, but it is coming back well," said Grooms. He attributes the increase to a number of major aerospace contracts recently won by local companies, bringing more people to the area.

"Those things have opened the door for us," Grooms said. "We are the last place in L.A. County that has affordable land for development. Newhall is too pricey and L.A. is too crowded."


? Princess Cruises announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Valencia in two new buildings with a total of 270,000 square feet by spring 2001.

? Newhall Land & Farming sold a 32.8-acre parcel of land to JPI, a national apartment developer, for $32.3 million, a new record for Valencia apartment land values.

? Construction began on a 24,500-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore and a 115,000-square-foot Lowe's in the Marketplace in Palmdale. Both are expected to open in 2000.

? Rancho Vista Development broke ground on an 18-hole golf course, with clubhouse and restaurant, in Palmdale. It is expected to open next summer.

? In Lancaster, The Factory Outlet Center sold to SafCo Capital Corp. of Los Angeles for a reported $7.5 million.


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