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River Court complex nears opening

Posted: October 9, 2008 8:16 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
Local small business owners will soon have more opportunity to purchase their own company space in the new River Court industrial park at Avenue Tibbitts and Avenue Hopkins in Valencia.

Santa Clarita city officials and brokers mingled over catered food amid the clanking by construction workers around them at an open house Wednesday for the industrial park which is still under construction.

At completion the project will house approximately 122,000 square -feet of industrial and office space, according to information provided by CB Richard Ellis, Inc., a large commercial real estate company.

CB Richard Ellis and JSB Development, the River Court’s Valencia-based developer, hosted the open house where an atmosphere of enthusiasm over the new business center lingered in the air.

“There’s a lack of quality space available for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Craig Peters, executive vice president of CB Richard Ellis. “This project takes advantage of providing industrial, technical and office spaces in smaller sizes.”

The center already has about a dozen lock-ins to occupy the spaces. Seventy percent are local business owners who want to relocate or expand, and the other 30 percent are primarily from the San Fernando Valley, he said.

Usually one or more of a company’s decision makers live out here and want to relocate out here, Peters said.

The spaces are not only for lease, but for purchase then lease, and even for outright purchase, Peters said.

The River Court park offers a great opportunity for businesses to own their own real estate, said Jim Backer, President of JSB.

“We built these with the local small business owner in mind,” said Backer.

“Certain business models look to lease and others look to own their own building,” said Jason Crawford, Santa Clarita’s economic development manager. “I think this project gives the opportunity to meet both needs.”

Office spaces range from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet and industrial and technical spaces range from 2,600 to 15,000 square feet.

To ease the fear some business owners may have over purchasing property in a shaky economy, Raffi Sarkissian, a senior vice president of Bank of America, said that those interested in purchasing a space have to look at it as a long-term investment. 

The first phase of River Court center is set to open at the end of this month and phase two will open by March 1.

Buying a building is like buying a 401(k), the market might drop out in the short-term, but you’re going to make money in the long run, Sarkissian said. 

“You’re better off to get a lower rate today, then wait and be stuck with a higher rate,” he said. 

Sarkissian believes the market will start correcting itself mid to later next year.

Backer is also excited about River Court’s surroundings.

There is easy access to Newhall Ranch Road and to trails for those who want to ride their bikes to work, and the center is right across from the Santa Clara River, he said.

“It is exciting anytime to see new businesses come into the market but especially right now with what questions there are about the economy,” Crawford said. “It’s great to see that investment in Santa Clarita.”

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