(Read more on the industrial market.)

PANORAMA CITY, CA-Principals of the Zodax home décor firm had planned to own and occupy a 200,000-sf building here, but they have decided to make way for a new tenant in a 10-year, $16-million lease. The new occupant of the building will be Gruma, the world’s largest tortilla company, which will fill all of the space at the 14200-14220 Arminta Ave. building owned by Zodax.

According to brokers for Zodax, David Hoffberg and Jerry Scullin of Delphi Business Properties, the home decor and accessories firm’s principals fully intended to occupy half of the building for expansion and lease the balance when they bought the property in December. But after Zodax moved in, the company learned that Gruma was looking for space in the San Fernando Valley and was interested in the Arminta Avenue facility.

Since Gruma was a credit tenant and required the entire building on a long-term lease, “this was an opportunity we did not want to lose,” says Philip Cohanim, president of Zodax. Gruma is moving into the building as the result of efforts by the Delphi team as well as a team of CB Richard Ellis brokers who represented Gruma in the lease.

Hoffberg and Scullin represented the building ownership in the lease, with Walt Chenoweth, Greg Geraci, Frank Geraci, David Harding and Dan de la Paz of CBRE representing Gruma. Chenoweth says that the CBRE team had been seeking a location for Gruma for some time and had considered a number of different locations in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. He notes that Gruma’s decision to locate in Panorama City was largely the result of public transportation incentives, tax credits and energy savings offered by the City of Los Angeles.

Zodax is now looking at other San Fernando Valley sites for its space needs, with Hoffberg and Scullin representing the company in its search. Cohanim says that, over the next six months, Zodax expects to move its operations elsewhere in the Valley.

Meanwhile, the 14200-14220 Arminta Ave. building is slated to be improved as a factory for Gruma and to operate under the Mission Foods brand. Gruma will employ about 350 workers at the building.

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