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Local Quarries Provide Fertile Ground For Trammell Crow’s Industrial Efforts

Local Quarries Provide Fertile Ground For Trammell Crow’s Industrial Efforts


Contributing Reporter

Among the gritty gravel pits that pockmark Irwindale, Trammell Crow Co. sees the glint of untapped gold.

The Dallas-based development firm transformed a former rock quarry and a series of dilapidated airport buildings into 2.9 million square feet of commercial space in Los Angeles County, making it the most active industrial developer of 2002.

The Irwindale Business Center is built on one of the San Gabriel Valley city’s humongous gravel pits. The $125 million project went into its second and final phase in 2002, encompassing 817,000 square feet.

In September, when Trammell Crow expects the entire project to be complete, it will cover 107 acres with 2.3 million square feet of commercial space. The largest space completed in 2002 was a $20 million build-to-suit office space for Charter Communications Inc. that will house a call center and regional office.

“It’s the largest industrial business park we’ve built in L.A. County in the last decade,” said Thomas Bak, managing director of the Los Angeles-based development and investment group.

During the project’s first building phase, 1.2 million square feet were developed, accounting for one fifth of all new industrial space developed in the San Gabriel Valley in 2001.

The site consists of 18 buildings, with spaces ranging from a 25,000 square foot, dock-height storage warehouse to a 150,000 square foot circulation facility for the Los Angeles Times.

The overall goal is to bring development to the area, not just the building site, said Bak.

“You rarely find large parcels of contiguous land like this in L.A. County,” he said. “A large park like ours builds a significant part of the community, and that gives added value for our tenants.”

The 685,000 square foot Van Nuys Airport center, completed this year, is already 100 percent occupied. The $50 million industrial business park covers 35 acres previously occupied by aerospace and defense contractor Marquardt Corp.

The aging buildings were replaced by clients like J. Paul Getty Trust, which maintains an archive on the site, and Westrim Crafts Inc., a craft supply wholesaler.

Part of Trammell Crow’s strategy of developing on brown fields, or contaminated land previously used for industry, involves being familiar with the entitlement process and environmental regulations.

Trammell Crow, founded in 1948, entered Southern California in 1972 with a 425-acre business park in the City of Commerce.

It quickly grew to be the one of the state’s largest industrial developers, with 31 offices in Los Angeles County alone.

Most Active Industrial Developer

Player: Trammell Crow Co.

Projects: Irwindale Business Center, Van Nuys Airport Center

The Deal: The developer put up 2.9 million square feet of industrial space in L.A. County in 2002, including 817,000 in the final phase of the Irwindale Business Center. The $125 million project covers 107 acres and 2.25 million square feet. The $50 million, 685,000 square-foot Van Nuys Airport Center on a 35-acre site previously occupied by an aerospace manufacturer was wrapped up.

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