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Thousand Oaks Boulevard attracts health care providers

Health care providers are continuing to invest in Thousand Oaks.

The UCLA Board of Regents recently paid more than $10 million for the medical office building at 100 Moody Court near Thousand Oaks Boulevard. UCLA Health Services is one of a number of health care companies who have laid their stake along the corridor.

Parking requirement easements provided in the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan have helped attract providers, said Tony Principe of Westcord Commercial Real Estate Services and T.R. Funding, the Westlake Village-based real estate investment firm that sold the building.

“Medical office vacancy is very low in the market,” he told the Business Times. “Some of these users that have wanted to relocate to free-standing buildings hadn’t had the opportunity until the specific plan gave them more flexibility with parking. As a result, a number of medical groups have acquired or leased facilities in the area.”

UCLA Health Services was one of the first health care providers to take up space on the boulevard following the specific plan’s 2011 implementation. Since 2013, it has occupied the 23,614-square-foot building that offers primary and specialty care including allergy and immunology, cardiology, dermatology, digestive diseases, endocrinology, neurology, otolaryngology and head and neck, pain management, pulmonary medicine and rheumatology.

Nearly 20 doctors practice at the facility, which is one of UCLA Health’s largest in the San Fernando and Conejo valleys.

The building, which was developed in 2002 by Rick and Tony Principe, housed Baja Fresh for almost 10 years before it relocated to Orange County. UCLA paid nearly
$10.6 million for it, continuing its Southern California expansion. It operates three hospitals and more than 150 satellite offices and clinics.

In 2015, Tony Principe coordinated Kryger Institute of Plastic Surgery’s purchase of the former 8,500-square-foot Lamb Realty building at 947 Thousand Oaks Blvd. Kaiser Permanente snapped up about 11,000 square feet of space at 322 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. in 2012.

The Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan, which covers the 3-mile stretch from Moorpark Road to Duesenberg Drive, lowered parking restrictions, allowed retail developers to build right up to the sidewalk and allocated 214 units of new housing development to the area. The hope was to create a vibrant, walkable space. So far, it has been a catalyst for redevelopment and business investment, Tony Principe said.

While the specific plan has attracted development dollars to the area, the county and overall region still struggles to provide enough housing.

One of the endeavors of the specific plan is to spur mixed-use development but developers are restricted by Measure E, which limits total residential units and allowable density. There are 1,000 units available to be built in the city and 214 were allotted through the specific plan for the Thousand Oaks Boulevard area. Developers are awaiting a decision from the city to approve 206 additional units along the boulevard, hopefully to come by the end of July, Cheri Blessing of Lee & Associates said.

“Businesses and property owners are hoping for new mixed-use development but they are waiting on additional units,” she said. “They are putting money into their stores to hopefully draw in tenants.”

Following the UCLA deal, T.R. Funding purchased a 60,000-square-foot industrial/office building at 5388 Sterling Center Drive in Westlake Village. The building was the former regional headquarters for Volkswagen USA.

Registry Monitoring Insurance Service has leased 27,000 square feet of space — the rest of the space will be devoted to the high-end collector car storage facility Finish Line Auto Storage.

T.R. Funding plans to add another 20,000 square feet to the 5.2-acre site that will provide private auto storage units.

Westmont breaks ground

Westmont College broke ground on a new $40 million project that will feature two residential buildings and a leadership center east of Van Kampen Hall.

The Montecito-based school has raised close to $140 million in its five-year Strength for Today campaign that aims to provide scholarships, new classes and mentoring for emerging leaders.

The 46,000-square-foot Global Leadership Center includes five programmatic initiatives: Mosher Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership, Eaton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation,

Hughes Center for Neuroscience and Leadership, Goble Center for Global Learning and the Montecito Institute for Executive Education.