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Trammell Crow buys Crown Coach site for industrial project

A downtown Los Angeles site where Crown Coach school buses were once manufactured has been acquired for $15.4 million by high-profile developer Trammell Crow Co., which plans to build an industrial park.

The CleanTech Manufacturing Center, three large buildings on 20 acres, will be developed on speculation, said Bradley Cox, senior managing director of Dallas-based Trammell Crow’s Los Angeles office. That means work will begin on the $40-million complex even though no tenants have yet agreed to rent space there.

The former Crown Coach and railroad property at 2425 E. Washington Blvd. at Santa Fe Avenue has been dormant for decades. Public officials spent seven years trying to build a state prison there but gave up in 1992 in the face of opposition from neighbors and activists.

In recent years the city has tried to make the land a key piece of the proposed CleanTech Corridor, which is intended to house a cluster of environmentally sensitive manufacturing businesses located along a four-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River.

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Trammell Crow hopes to have the 370,000-square-foot complex approved and built by the end of 2013. The company will work with city leaders to attract tenants in such “clean tech” businesses as electric car manufacturers or makers of solar or wind power equipment, Cox said.

If such tenants can’t be found, the developer will look for renters in the food or garment businesses, both of which are thriving downtown, Cox said. “Those particular industries are looking for state-of-the art buildings.”

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