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ONTARIO, CA-Bixby Land Co. has acquired the 231,444-sf Archibald Business Center here and Birtcher Development & Investments has acquired 22.8 acres in Riverside County for a 286,000-sf industrial park in two of the latest examples of Orange County-based development firms looking for opportunities in the Inland Empire. Newport Beach-based Bixby’s $18 million acquisition of the Archibald project is one of the first deals to close with former Irvine Co. office division president Bill Halford at the helm of Bixby, where he is president and CEO.

In addition to the 231,444-sf renovated warehouse and distribution building, the 18-acre Archibald Business Center includes 6.5 acres of land where Bixby plans to develop a 140,000-sf speculative industrial building. The Archibald Business Center is at 2021 S. Archibald Ave., with access to the 60, 10 and 15 freeways near Ontario International Airport.

The project falls in line with Bixby’s strategy of identifying value-added deals throughout California, notes Halford. He said the firm sees rent growth and added value in Ontario, thanks to continued and growing demand for space there. Bixby and the seller of the Archibald property, former occupant LG Electronics, were represented by the CB Richard Ellis team of Darla Longo, David Consani and Jim Koenig.

The site of the property acquired by Irvine-based Birtcher Development & Investments, which paid $4 million for the land, is at the intersection of General Drive and Clay Street, close to the 91, 60 and 15 freeways. Birtcher’s project will be a three-building industrial park to be known as Birtcher Business Centre at General Drive.

Brandon Birtcher, president of Birtcher Development & Investments, comments that the Inland Empire remains a promising locale for development because low business andliving costs continue to drive a steady migration into the two-county region from the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego metropolitan areas. Birtcher has $252 million in projects under way throughout the region, where it is under contract or development for 123 acres, primarily to develop mid-size industrial product.

In the Birtcher land purchase, sellers Don and Barbara Cox and De Anza Partners were represented by Ralph Neilson. Birtcher Development & Investments was represented byLarry Null and Paul Whitehouse of Lee & Associates.

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