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Zelman buying ‘A-1' site

Paul Clinton

AIRPORT DISTRICT -- Zelman Development Companies will purchase

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s “A-1 North” site by the end of the year to build

a high-tech industrial manufacturing complex, the president of the Los


Angeles developer said.

Ben Reiling said he is in the final stages of buying the 31-acre

parcel from the aerospace giant for more than $20 million.

Lockheed spokeswoman Gail Rymer confirmed the company was negotiating


exclusively with Zelman but declined to say how much it was asking for

property. Rymer said Lockheed selected Zelman after whittling down a

field of 23 interested developers.

On Wednesday, Reiling said he would formalize the deal by year’s end.

Escrow on the property probably would not close until early 2001,

however, because Lockheed must first demolish 1.8-million square feet of

buildings that remain on the site.

A-1 North was used between 1941 and 1992 as an aircraft assembly line


and also contained the company’s headquarters building.

Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom said the sounds of fighter jet wings

being shaped by massive presses on the property would reverberate through

the neighborhood.

If the deal goes through, it would be Zelman’s second major purchase

of a Lockheed property in less than a year. The company is waiting for

city approval of its $69-million bid for Lockheed’s 103-acre “B-1"

property, where it hopes to build a $200-million office and retail center


with two hotels.

“This is the end of the ownership era for Lockheed,” Ovrom said.

Since Lockheed halted operations in Burbank nearly a decade ago, the

company has been forced to conduct extensive cleanups of contaminated

soil on its former manufacturing properties and has paid out millions of

dollars to area residents to settle claims of health and property damage.

As part of the deal with Zelman, Lockheed has agreed to clean up some

contaminated soil on the A-1 property, Reiling said.

Reiling said he will seek computer, media and distributing businesses

for the development, which would fall in line with current city zoning on

the land. The complex would have about 600,000 square feet of space.

“We plan to develop it into what I would call high-tech industrial,”

he said.