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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Mall of America owner in talks to buy 47-acre site in the Valley

The former rocket engine plant could become a huge mixed-use development
April 17, 2018 10:11AM

The site marketed as “Uptown at Warner Center” by Binswanger, Realty Advisory Group, Inc. and Kidder Mathews

UPDATED, April 19, 1:30 p.m.: The owner of the Mall of America is in talks to buy one of the largest redevelopment sites in Los Angeles: a 47-acre former rocket engine manufacturing complex in Warner Center.

Triple Five Group Ltd. is expected to pay around $150 million for the site at 6633 Canoga Avenue, sources close to the deal told CoStar. The site was operated by Aerojet Rocketdyne for more than half a century before it closed in 2013.

The location is approved for up to 6 million square feet of development and is being marketed as an “urban neighborhood” development opportunity called “Uptown at Warner Center.” It is being handled by the marketing team of Binswanger, Realty Advisory Group Inc., and Kidder Mathews. The site is in the area designated for more dense “live, work, play” development outlined in the City Council’s Warner Center 2035 Plan, according to CoStar.

That’s right up Triple Five Group’s alley, although it’s unclear if the Edmonton, Canada-based developer will go with that approach. Triple Five is being represented by Reuben Benhaghnazar of L.A.-based Reuben Realty.

Along with malls, the conglomerate has developed a number of mixed-use complexes around the country. In Miami, it has plans to develop what would be the largest theme park project in North America on 195 acres. And in Chowchilla, north of Fresno, it plans to build Greenhill Estates, a 2,500-unit residential project.

That project features a shopping center, golf course and two schools.

The property neighbors the Westfield Topanga mall and its expansion, the Village at Topanga, and the Westfield Promenade, which is being redeveloped with 1,400 residential units, two hotels, and 244,000 square feet of retail space. Together they comprise 2.7 million square feet of retail space.

Aerojet Rocketdyne opened its facility there in 1955, where it developed and produced the massive F-1 rockets that propelled NASA astronauts to the moon on all of the 13 Apollo missions that flew from the late 1960s to early 1970s. The complex closed after Sacramento-based GenCorp Inc. purchased the company for $550 million in 2012. [CoStar] — Dennis Lynch