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ONTARIO, CA-Orange County-based Armstrong-Butcher has broken ground on a 350,000-sf project here, and Riverside Commercial Investors plans 350,000 sf in Riverside in a development due to break ground in April.Costa Mesa-based Armstrong-Butcher’s project is called Airport Corporate Centre and will begin with a first phase of eight buildings totaling 118,000 sf, according to Taylor Ing and Michael Day of the Ontario office of CB Richard Ellis, who are marketing the project for the developer. The new project, with the first phase slated for completion in July, will become part of the Centrelake development adjacent to the Ontario International Airport. The development site is on East Guasti Road between Turner and Haven avenues. The full project will include three phases, with Phase 1 being a speculative development with options to buy and lease anywhere from 3,300 sf to 65,000 sf. Phases II and III will include a minimum of nine buildings and will offer build to suit opportunities. The project will occupy one of the largest pieces of land available for development adjacent to the airport and is being designed by GAA Architects. Blair Armstrong, managing member of Armstrong-Butcher Properties, comments that the Ontario Airport area “is now a very viable option for larger users from Orange and L.A. counties because we have buildings that can compete with these areas from a quality perspective.”Riverside Commercial Investors’ project is called The Grove and will start with 50,000 sf of speculative office space in Phase I, according to Vindar Batoosingh and Philip Woodford of CB Richard Ellis, who have the listing for the project. The development site is at the northeast corner of Iowa and Marlborough avenues. The first phase will be a speculative development, to be followed by six more phases that will offer an option for build to suit projects. Rufus Barkley of RCI says construction of the subsequent phaess will begin when the first phase is 80% leased, which the company expects to occur before the end of 2005. The development site is in the Hunter Park area of Riverside, near the campus of the University of California at Riverside. The CBRE brokers note that one of the major draws for prospective tenants is that the development will have one of the highest parking ratios in the area with 5.23 cars per 1,000 sf of office space. Barkley says that one driver of the project is that population growth in the area is producing demand from employees who want to establish locations in the Inland Empire because, if they don’t, employees are choosing to switch jobs and work for competitors who do have locations in the Inland Empire.

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