City and economic leaders hope the project will help spur additional commercial and industrial construction that can be marketed to local companies looking to expand or used to lure in outside companies. Available commercial space has been in short supply in the region, they say. “In the past, we didn’t have a whole lot to show,” said Mel Layne, president of the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance. “To get people to look at us, you need to have available space.” Some of the center’s occupants are expected to be medical firms because of the proximity to Palmdale Regional Medical Center under construction a quarter-mile south, said Mayor Jim Ledford. “That hospital is generating a lot of interest,” Ledford said. But initial occupants will include real estate, insurance and general-contractor companies, Venture officials said. PALMDALE – City and economic leaders turned out Wednesday for the opening of the first phase of a commercial and industrial development in the Trade and Commerce Center, a project they hope will help spur similar investment in the region. Venture Corp., which calls itself California’s largest builder of privately owned commercial structures for small companies, developed the first phase of its project at Commerce Avenue between Trade Center Drive and 5th Street West. The five buildings, designed for smaller companies, have space ranging from 1,100 to 2,660 square feet. Another phase is already under construction and involves three buildings – one at 12,144 square feet, one at 16,144 square feet and a third at 32,456 square feet – aimed at larger companies. “Basically, it’s a turn-key situation,” said Stuart Scheinholtz, the company’s vice president of development. “If you wanted to, you could just move in your furniture.” Purchase prices range from $299,000 to $625,000 for small-company spaces. Sales are pending or have been closed on 11 of the 35 spaces in the first phase. “You have a real-estate item in your budget, most likely for rent,” Scheinholtz said. “Why not change the rent payment to a mortgage payment?” Building prices in the larger project for big businesses range from $1.9 million to $5.1 million. Mill Valley-based Venture Corp. has similar projects in Palm Desert, San Diego County and Sacramento, as well as in Washington state and Nevada. Company officials said they were drawn to the Antelope Valley by the population growth. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!