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CORONA, CA-A new $35 million office project that is scheduled to break ground in October will target the expanding market for owner-user space among professionals in this rapidly growing, affluent community. SVP Kevin Turner of Colliers International in Irvine, who is marketing the project on behalf of Newport Beach-based Werdin-Ewing Development, tells GlobeSt.com that the new project aims to capitalize on the lack of inventory and pent-up demand for office space close to the homes of the many professionals now moving to Corona.

The new 123,000-sf development is called Corona Corporate Centre and will offer 12 buildings for sale ranging from 1,500 sf to 22,600 sf on a site at the Ontario Avenue exit of the I-15 Freeway. Turner, who is marketing the project along with SVPs Michael Hartel and Michael McCrary with Colliers International’s Irvine and Ontario offices, cites the 2.5% office vacancy rate, Corona’s 20% per year population growth and a median home price of $625,000 as just some of the factors that are driving the new development.

“With the population growth and the organic growth that has taken place along the 15 and 91 corridors, there are a lot of professionals who live in Corona are driving quite a distance to their jobs,” Turner says, pointing out that the median household income in Corona is actually higher than it is in Orange County. “Our thinking was that if someone developed a quality office building that was well-located, those professionals would want to own their own real estate,” Turner says.

Prospective buyers for the new buildings are likely to include all types of professionals, Turner comments, ranging from engineering and management firms to architectural firms, advertising agencies, accountants, lawyers and others. The building sizes are designed to fit everything from a sole proprietor to a regional office.

The Corona Corporate Centre project site is a 7.69-acre parcel that features more than 1,100 feet of frontage along the I-15 Freeway. Plans call for construction of all of the one-story and two-story buildings in one phase.

According to Russell Werdin, partner of Werdin-Ewing, the project has been designed as a single-story and two-story office campus environment to satisfy the demand among owner-users such as those described by Turner. He adds that Werdin-Ewing has been pursuing opportunities in Corona based upon the region’s business-friendly climate and “excellent market conditions.”

Although housing and construction have cooled off in recent months, Turner notes that there are still 11,000 new homes under construction from Corona south to Murrieta and 14,000 homes under construction from the 91 north along the I-15 to Ontario. “That’s potentially 20,000 people who are looking for a shorter commute,” Turner says.

The new project has already generated unsolicited offers, but Werdin says that his firm will not have pricing or a final site plan for another 30 days. Werdin has teamed with new partner Carter Ewing, a current owner of Newport Beach-based retail developer Howser Ewing Cos. and a former development partner with the Koll Co. in Denver. Combined, Werdin and Ewing have developed, leased and sold more than seven million sf of office, industrial and retail properties in California, Arizona and Colorado.

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