Nader Shah, senior vice president with Higgins Development,tells GlobeSt.com that the firm chose the Burbank site for a numberof reasons, among them the continuing demand for office space thathas made Burbank and Pasadena "probably two of the strongestmarkets in the region." He cites an office vacancy rate in 3% rangein the area.

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Shah tells GlobeSt.com that Higgins was already looking fordevelopment opportunities in the Burbank-Pasadena area when the2300 Empire site became available. The property is part of a106-acre former Lockheed aerospace facility that has since beenredeveloped into a number of uses, including retail and office.

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Higgins will develop the project, which will be designed by WareMalcomb, in a venture with equity partner Walton Street CapitalLLC. The developers expect to begin construction late this year,with completion approximately 12 to 14 months later.

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The 50,000-sf floorplates of the Higgins building will be largerthan those of most office developments in the area, wherefloorplates typically range from about 20,000 sf to 40,000 sf. Shahsays that the larger floorplates will accommodate larger users thatneed the extra space, but the 2300 Empire building will be designedso that the floors can easily be demised into smaller spaces.

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Although the project is in the Media District, Higgins expectsthat tenants in the new building will include a wide range of typesof businesses, both in and outside of the media industry. CBRichard Ellis has the listing for the project, with leasing to behandled by Patrick Church and Anneke Greco of CBRE's L.A. Northoffice in Universal City.

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