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FULLERTON, CA-A joint venture of Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises and GE Real Estate has launched construction of a 285,399-sf industrial park called Kimberly Business Center on a 15-acre site here. The $46-million project is the first transaction in a new $100-million industrial development venture between Lowe and GE Real Estate.

GE’s participation in the deal is a $9.8-million equity investment, according to Steve Hoover, managing director for GE Real Estate North America Equity. Executive vice president Phil Peters of Lowe Enterprises Investors, who structured the firm’s investment programs with GE Real Estate, notes that the two firms previously worked together on a national office acquisition program.

Kimberly Business Center is under way at 1550 Kimberly Ave., bounded by Raymond Avenue and Acacia Street in the North Orange County industrial market. According to Jamie Daugherty, senior vice president with Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, the project targets the continuing strong demand for industrial space from companies requiring a central urban facility as well as the growing number of small, entrepreneurial enterprises that want to own their buildings. Lowe has already sold more than 65,000 sf of the project, Daugherty notes.

Lowe acquired the site from Johnson Controls Battery Group in the fall of 2005. Johnson Controls had operated an 182,966-sf automotive and marine battery manufacturing facility for many years, and as part of the transaction the company leased back the property for two years.

Ware Malcomb architects is the project designer for the Kimberly Business Center, for which J.D. Diffenbaugh is the general contractor. A Voit Commercial Brokerage team is handling the sales and marketing of the project, which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2008.

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