Need­ham project to hit ‘mile­stone’

The Signal - - News - By Tammy Murga Sig­nal Staff Writer

Af­ter ap­proval by the city 15 years ago, the Cen­ter at Need­ham Ranch project is set to cel­e­brate a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone on Tues­day, Nov. 20, ac­cord­ing to de­vel­op­ers.

Res­i­dents have seen ren­der­ings, videos and the be­gin­ning stages of con­struc­tion of the state-of-the-art in­dus­trial space devel­op­ment, but come the week of Nov. 18, ver­ti­cal build­ing should be vis­i­ble to passersby.

“The first pan­els are ex­pected to go up on the 18th or 19th,” said John Balestra, the se­nior vice pres­i­dent for Tram­mell Crow Co., the de­vel­oper. “Walls will be up by then just in time for the 20th, which is a ma­jor mile­stone for the whole team.”

Be­tween High­way 14 and down­town Ne­whall, the Need­ham Ranch project is a mas­ter­planned 135-acre busi­ness park that will in­clude up to 4.3 mil­lion square feet of in­dus­trial, of­fice and re­search space over seven build­ings.

Each build­ing is de­signed to range be­tween 34,000 to 210,000 square feet in size, with fea­tures like 30- to 36-foot in­te­rior clear heights with ESFR fire sprin­klers, gen­er­ous truck courts and yard areas and at­trac­tive ar­chi­tec­tural de­signs.

Leas­ing agent Craig Peters said Need­ham Ranch would of­fer “best-in-class” in­dus­trial fa­cil­i­ties, “cov­eted by me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment, man­u­fac­tur­ing, ware­hous­ing and lo­gis­tics/last mile dis­tri­bu­tion space users” in a nat­u­ral park-like set­ting.

In 1889, the prop­erty was bought by pro­hi­bi­tion­ist Henry Clay Need­ham. His heirs later sold an es­ti­mated 770 acres in the late 1950s to Eter­nal Val­ley Ceme­tery di­rec­tor Mark Gates Sr., who then sold off the 220acre ceme­tery area.

The re­main­ing 584 acres was planned for devel­op­ment in the late 1990s by Gates’ son Mark Jr. as the Gate-King In­dus­trial Park.

Fast for­ward to 2017, when wa­ter re­tailer Ne­whall County Wa­ter Dis­trict met with the de­vel­oper to get in­volved and lay pipes for one of the most sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial projects now un­der devel­op­ment in L.A. County.

Though much work is still un­der­way, Balestra said the project would pick up the pace as soon as pan­els start go­ing up.

“It’s been a very chal­leng­ing land devel­op­ment, given the den­sity amount of grad­ing, util­ity and in­fra­struc­ture work that we have had to do,” he said. “It was a raw, hill­side prop­erty but we are over the hump with grad­ing and com­ple­tion of in­fra­struc­ture. Now it’s build­ing build­ings — the part that goes by the fastest.”

Balestra said they had re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant amount of in­ter­est from busi­nesses look­ing into oc­cu­py­ing the fa­cil­i­ties, and he be­lieves more will flood in as soon as ver­ti­cal con­struc­tion is well un­der­way.

“Once walls come up, the front en­trance is com­plete, and you can drive on the site, we will see a whole other level of in­ter­est,” he said.

On Nov. 20, an in­vite-only event aimed mostly for bro­kers, de­vel­op­ers, city of­fi­cials and lo­cal busi­ness ex­perts will of­fer the lat­est on the project.

“We want to cel­e­brate this ma­jor mile­stone in re­ally be­ing able to achieve the vi­sion that has been float­ing around the com­mu­nity for over 20 years,” said Balestra. “Need­ham Ranch will of­fer a home for man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion. This is all part of Santa Clarita Val­ley’s growth, and we are ex­cited to share that with ev­ery­one soon.”

Cour­tesy photo

The Cen­ter at Need­ham Ranch project is set to cel­e­brate a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone on Tues­day. On the week of Nov. 18, ver­ti­cal build­ing of the project should be vis­i­ble to passersby.

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