November 11, 2015by debbieheinze

San Diego and Newport Beach, Calif. – AERO, the contemporary redesign of a four-story office building in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa submarket, has landed its first tenant. Berkley Insurance Company has leased the second floor of the building, taking 23,418 square feet in a relocation move from nearby Mission Valley. Financial terms of the eight-year lease were not disclosed.

Bixby Land Company completed AERO just last month, and views the speed with which the first lease was signed as a proxy for the quality of the project and the high demand for creative office space in Central San Diego.


“We think this speaks volumes for the project and the limited supply of quality choices for progressive tenants in the market,” said Aaron Hill, senior vice president of operations for Bixby Land Company.

Bixby acquired the former San Diego field office of the FBI at 9797 Aero Drive in 2014, investing over $10 million to completely reposition the building to meet the contemporary space needs of today’s companies. Bixby worked with Gensler & Associates on the architectural design.

“We added custom overhead doors on the ground floor to open up the building to the outdoor areas, a feature that has been very well received in our other projects,” added Hill.


Amenities at AERO include the signature Bixby Retreat, an outdoor living room and gathering area where tenants can collaborate or relax. The project also features a fitness center and a lobby lounge area with custom music tracks. Numerous restaurants and retail services are within a short walking distance.

The 92,463-square-foot building is designed for larger users, with floor plans of approximately 23,500 square feet. Tenant spaces will feature brushed concrete floors, exposed ceilings and open floor plans to facilitate creative interior space designs.

“More and more companies want a work environment that engages and energizes their employees, and this building offers that with an indoor-outdoor connection that is ideal for the San Diego climate,” said Derek Hulse, vice president at Colliers International.

Hulse represents leasing for the building with colleagues Derek Applbaum and Tom Mercer. Berkley Insurance Company was represented by Darren Morgan of Cushman & Wakefield.

The development of AERO represents the continuation of Bixby’s strategy to provide innovative workplace designs in select markets throughout California. Bixby is about to begin development on another San Diego project, The Oberlin in Sorrento Mesa. That three-building project features high volume space, two Bixby Retreat outdoor amenities areas and private patios in select tenant suites. The Oberlin is slated for delivery in the second half of 2016.


The firm also just completed Avalon in Newport Beach, a vibrant two-story building that Bixby has chosen for its own corporate headquarters location. Features include a second floor loft and furnished outdoor deck available to all tenants as an amenity space.

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