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BURBANK, CA-Investment banker L.J. Melody says it has arranged a loan to help finance Burbank Empire Center, the big office complex that is set to open here next spring.

The financing package is worth $32 million. Principal Capital provided the financing on behalf of developer Menlo Equities, says Mike Melody, the L.J. Melody executive in Houston who arranged the funding. Melody is a unit of LA-based CB Richard Ellis.

Burbank Empire Center is rising on Empire Avenue, not far from the Golden State (5) Freeway. It will include more than 228,00 sf of class A space when it opens in the second quarter of 2002.

Earlier this year, Allianz Insurance Co. agreed to a 15-year lease for 97,000 sf of office space at the development in a deal valued at about $50 million. It remains one of the largest leases to be signed in the Tri-Cities area in the past few years.

Brokers say leasing activity also has been brisk at the adjacent Burbank Empire Shopping Center, which is being built by privately held Zelman Development Co.

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