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Mann Buys Half of Lockheed Facility

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Biotechnology pioneer Alfred Mann has acquired almost half of a 377-acre former Lockheed aerospace research facility at Rye Canyon in Valencia for a project called Mann Biomedical Park, boosting the Santa Clarita Valley’s reputation as an emerging biotech center.

The new biomedical park will be designed to accommodate other Mann companies in addition to one called Advanced Bionics that already occupies space at Rye Canyon, said John DelRusso, director of facilities for Advanced Bionics.

Mann bought the land in what is now known as Rye Canyon Business Park from a partnership of Foster City, Calif.-based developer Legacy Partners. DelRusso said the property was acquired through a newly formed company called Mann Biomedical Park LLC.

The 160 acres that Mann purchased includes about 420,000 square feet of industrial buildings, most of which were renovated by Legacy. About two-thirds of the property is occupied, said DelRusso, who said the new owners will market the remaining space to prospective tenants.

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Besides filling the existing space, Mann expects to build facilities at Rye Canyon. DelRusso said it’s too early to say which companies will locate there or how much new space Mann expects to build.

Advanced Bionics, which operates its research center and administrative offices in 90,000 square feet at Rye Canyon, is already building about 66,000 square feet of additional space there and plans to move its manufacturing to Rye Canyon from Sylmar. The company is one of a number of biomedical firms founded by Mann, who pioneered such medical devices as heart pacemakers and hearing implants. Mann’s land purchase, which is in a portion of Valencia within the city of Santa Clarita, was the second in recent weeks by a biomedical firm with plans to move to Valencia.

Santa Monica-based Specialty Laboratories Inc. bought nearly 14 acres in Valencia Corporate Center at Interstate 5 and Valencia Boulevard, where the firm plans to build a 200,000-square-foot lab and corporate headquarters.

Terms of the Rye Canyon land sale were not disclosed. Legacy and partner Goldman Sachs paid about $20 million in 1998 for the 377-acre Rye Canyon property, which was known as Kelly Johnson Research Center when it was operated by Lockheed.

Mann was represented in the land purchase by Jim Linn of Grubb & Ellis. The sellers were represented by Craig Peters and Doug Sonderegger of CB Richard Ellis.


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