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CORONA, CA-The Birtcher Commercial Development Group division of the Laguna Niguel-based Birtcher family of companies has broken ground on Corona Crossroads, a 768,454-sf business park on Sherborn Street at Magnolia Avenue.

The project will be a master-planned, 10-building industrial park that will be developed in three phases and will include manufacturing, assembly and distribution facilities. It is scheduled for completion starting in early 2004 for phase I and fall of 2004 for phases II and III.

The speculative project, on a 41-acre site, will include buildings being offered for both sale and lease. Brandon Birtcher, president of Birtcher Commercial Development and co-chairman of Birtcher Real Estate Group, says the development is aimed at the need for additional industrial product in a city that relies on an industrial base of 23 million sf. Birtcher cites the growing demand for such space in Corona, which is centrally located between Orange and San Diego counties and the Inland Empire. The location affords some of the lowest priced utility rates in the region, with rents lower than those for similar space in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

The industrial buildings will feature dock-high and grade-level loading, increased skylight ratio, recreational amenities, expandable power, 60-ft concrete truck aprons, rail accessibility and adjacency to both the Riverside (91) Freeway and Interstate-15 Freeway interchange. The first phase, which is slated for completion in early 2004, will include four buildings totaling 302,218 sf, with each building ranging in size from 66,000 sf to 90,000 sf.

Phase II will begin construction before the year’s end and will comprise two buildings totaling 113,700 sf. The final phase will begin in the first quarter of 2004 and will include four more buildings totaling 352,536 sf. The last two phases will contain buildings ranging in size from 47,000 to 120,000 sf and will be completed by the end of 2004.

Birtcher Commercial Development acquired the land in October 2002 from the Chicago-based AEW Capital Management, which owned the vacant land for more than 10 years. Birtcher secured financing from Cornerstone Realty Advisors, a subsidiary of MassMutual Life Insurance Co., as its partner. Bank of America provided the construction loan for the project, with Buchanan Street Partners of Newport Beach arranging the equity.

Jim Koenig, David Consani, Dick Roby and Janet Valentin of CB Richard Ellis negotiated the sale of the land, representing both Birtcher and the seller, and have also been named as the leasing agents for the project.

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