The Center at Needham Ranch celebrates its walls going up

A section of wall is lifted into place behind the white tent erected for the special event to announce progress on the The Center at Needham Ranch in Santa Clarita on Tuesday, November 2018. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Center at Needham Ranch, in development since the early 2000’s, has now made visible progress on its master-planned business park.

On Tuesday, the project developers, brokers, various stakeholders and city officials gathered at the construction site between Highway 14 and downtown Newhall to celebrate the vertical building’s erection, now in its “walls up” phase.

In the upcoming weeks, the developers will complete construction on “Phase 1A” of the Needham Ranch project, which entails completing three of its industrial buildings.

In six months, residents will see the completion of Phase 1B, which entails finishing four more buildings and ensuring their walls are tilted by mid-2019, said leasing agent Craig Peters in a speech.

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.

Peters said at the event that the spacing of the construction is due to spacing out the environmental impact of building all seven buildings, as well as ushering in new business to the completed buildings.

“Our motto is, ‘one mile from the city of Los Angeles, a world apart,’” Peters said. “A huge advantage we have is that the city of Santa Clarita is one of the most business-friendly, one of the best places to live in the U.S. It’s a city of the future.”

The movie industry will now have additional reason to come to Santa Clarita, thanks to the construction of the industrial facilities, said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, who was present to show the city’s support for the development.

Weste said: “This is an amazing place, and a great opportunity for business and building our economics. The timing is so critically paired with Old Town Newhall developing and everything we’re doing. I don’t’ have anything other to say than, ‘Bravo.’ We’re going to make this the best place ever.”

The final project will include up to 4.3 million square feet of industrial, office and research space over seven buildings.

John Balestra, the senior vice president for project developer Trammell Crow Co., said the project had met a major milestone as the walls were now up. It had not been easy, he said.

“The developers looked at this in the past, and there were so many challenges,” Balestra said. “It’s been difficult to wrap our heads around how to work through and mitigate the risk. We had to deal with sensitive biological issues, 400 mitigation measures, grading, making sure to care for our beloved oak trees, over the last few years… and in 2017 we were able to put together the puzzle.”

The Center is located less than a mile away from the current Disney Golden Oak movie ranch and future $300 million ABC Studios at the Ranch.

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