After two decades of failed attempts to construct affordable housing, the city of Thousand Oaks has sold a nearly 8-acre lot to an industrial developer.
The lot was purchased by Conejo Merchant Ltd., a joint venture of Martin Teitelbaum, principal at Teitelbaum Construction Inc. of Camarillo, and Hugh Cassar, chief executive of Kretek International Inc., a Moorpark firm that distributes tobacco products. The venture bought the land for $1.9 million.
The city, which acquired the vacant land at Conejo Center Drive and Conejo Spectrum Street in the early 1990s, has most recently abandoned an effort with Meta Housing Corp. in Los Angeles to develop 140 units of affordable housing. Meta Housing and Thousand Oaks mutually agreed to part ways on the project in September, after the two sides couldn’t agree on plans.
Assistant City Attorney Chris Norman said Meta Housing, as part of the termination agreement, will receive 75 percent of the money from the land sale.
The buyer plans to build about 75,000 square feet of industrial space consisting of seven buildings ranging in size from 4,000 to 8,000 square feet and commercial condominiums ranging in size from about 1,800 to 3,000 square feet.
“It’s been 25 years since there has been new, smaller-sized industrial development in this market,” said Mike Tingus, president at the L.A. North/Ventura office of Lee & Associates, who represented both the buyer and the seller. “And with what’s going on at Amgen, it’s great timing and a great spot.”
Conejo Merchant plans to break ground on the project in the fourth quarter with completion expected mid-2015.
Grant Fulkerson, principal at the L.A. North/Ventura office of Lee, also represented both sides.