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EL SEGUNDO, CA-Thomas Properties Group Inc. of Los Angeles has paid $30 million to buy a 46.5-acre land parcel from Federal Express that Thomas plans as the site of nearly 2.2 million sf of mixed-use development. The project, to be called Campus El Segundo, was the object of a long and bitter political and legal struggle between Thomas and the L.A.-based Kilroy Realty REIT, with Kilroy opposing the development.The proposed development site is at just south of Los Angeles International Airport and formerly was a Rockwell aerospace facility. Along with buying the land from FedEx, Thomas also purchased the entire interest of its unaffiliated minority partner in TPG-El Segundo Partners LLC for $5 million.EVP Thomas Ricci of Thomas calls the acquisition of the land “the culmination of a five-year process” to entitle and obtain the property. Thomas won approval of the project early in the game from the El Segundo Planning Commission and the City Council, but it ran into opposition from Kilroy, which owns buildings near the planned development. Thomas and Kilroy battled in a city-wide referendum that asked voters to either approve or reject the Campus El Segundo project, with Thomas winning the vote. After the referendum vote, Kilroy filed a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court under the California Environmental Quality Act. Thomas prevailed in the Superior Court ruling and also in Kilroy’s appeal to the California Court of Appeal. Kilroy officials could not be reached Wednesday for comment.Ricci says that Thomas’ entitlements for the project site will allow the publicly held L.A.-based company to offer “a variety of building options and configurations” that can include office, R&D, multimedia and related uses along with a hotel and health club, restaurants, retail and a day care facility. Thomas intends to develop Campus El Segundo in phases and will consider selling certain sites to third parties or end users. The company has set aside five acres to be acquired by the City of El Segundo for a recreation facility. The City will also construct a new fire station on one acre of dedicated land.Thomas’ $30 million land purchase was financed in part with a secured loan for $19.5 million, with a term of two years with three one-year extension option. The loan bears interest at LIBOR plus 2.25%.

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