Glendale officials are seeing a full-color demonstration of what they hope will happen in the San Fernando Road Creative Corridor, with Technicolor Inc. agreeing this month to move 100 film-processing jobs into a 40,000-square-foot Flower Avenue warehouse.
The move is expected to be complete in July, after the firm downsizes and shutters a North Hollywood facility in June, said Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor’s creative services division. Technicolor also has facilities in Burbank, as well as other Southern California cities.
Glendale was a natural choice because of the city’s push for the creative corridor and because the proximity of DreamWorks Animation and the Walt Disney Co.’s Creative Campus, Berchtold said.
“Disney and DreamWorks are both very important customers of ours, and any opportunity to be in close proximity with them is positive,” he said.
Technicolor is best known for processing film, but also does special effects and manufactures DVDs and Blu-ray discs, with roughly 17,000 workers in the United States, Canada, India, China and Europe. It has recently made significant investments in digital technology under the expectation that by the end of 2011, Berchtold said half of North American theaters will use digital projectors.
David Issaians, a Coldwell Banker Commercial broker who represented property owner Mar & Co. in the deal, said media firms are focusing on industrial sites, where the price per square foot is between 60 cents and 90 cents, about one-third of the local rate for commercial buildings.
“The production companies, post-production companies and similar operations tend to be focused on warehouse space,” Issaians said.
The building’s former occupant, Side Effects Clothing, will move its warehouse to a facility outside the San Fernando Valley, Issaians said.
Mike Maniscalchi, with Glendale’s Stevenson Real Estate Services, said the vacancy rate for industrial sites in Glendale and Burbank is between 6% and 7%, far lower than the 17.7% commercial vacancy rate in Burbank or the 23.6% commercial vacancy rate in Glendale.
“I am very pleased to see these high-paying, professional jobs coming to Glendale,” Councilwoman Laura Friedman said. “It fits right in with what we’re trying to create along San Fernando Road.”
Philip Lanzafame, Glendale’s chief assistant director of community development, said the city is streamlining the process for firms interested in coming to the San Fernando Road corridor. The department has already designated a person to help companies navigate the approval process, and is also considering a proposal to expedite plan check and other documents from city inspectors.
Friedman said the city may convert a program that offers firms help upgrading their building exteriors so that it instead applies to warehouse interiors, where potential tenants are focused on making changes.
Tony Miniscalchi, president of Stevenson Real Estate Services and member of the city’s task force on the San Fernando Road corridor, said the city can do more to promote the presence of creative firms and cut through red tape.
He acknowledged some improvements, but said the process could still be easier.
“If a company is coming to Glendale and is looking for some help, they can get it,” he said. “If they are doing it on their own, it is a little more painful.”