Former FBI Headquarter Transformed

October 28, 2015by debbieheinze

By David Phillips

Bixby Land Company has completed the redesign of AERO, a four-story, 96,534-square-foot building at 9797 Aero Drive in San Diego’s Kearney Mesa submarket. The development brings a contemporary space offering to the market, with design features and amenities that are in high demand by today’s workforce.

“This was a great opportunity to develop innovative space for progressive companies that want an energetic workplace in Central San Diego,” said Bill Halford, president and CEO of Bixby Land Company. “There isn’t another building in the immediate market that meets this growing need.”

Bixby acquired the former San Diego field office of the FBI in 2014 for $12.5 million, and committed another $10 million in a comprehensive redesign of the project with Gensler & Associates.

The Newport Beach-based developer reconfigured the ground floor to add just over 20,000 square feet to the net rentable area. In doing so, Bixby created a free flowing indoor-outdoor connection between interior spaces and an expansive outdoor amenities deck for tenants.

“We added custom overhead doors to open up the building to the outdoor areas, a feature that has been widely successful in our other projects,” added Halford.

Bixby’s attention to the lifestyle needs of today’s companies has come to define the firm’s office development strategy. This includes contemporary designs and amenities that more closely resemble ambiance of a boutique hotel than a conventional office building.

“Companies place a premium on work environments where their employees can enjoy the outdoors without having to leave the property,” said Halford. “Our designs offer that experience, with highly amenitized outside areas that are a perfect for San Diego’s active lifestyle.”

Amenities at AERO include the signature Bixby Retreat outdoor area, a fitness center, a lobby lounge area with custom music tracks, and garage parking. Tenant spaces feature polished concrete floors, exposed ceilings and open floor plans to accommodate creative interior architectural plans.

“The project has been very well received by the market thus far, and is within walking distance to abundant retail services,” said Derek Hulse, vice president at Colliers International. “AERO is ideal for full-floor tenants, with the opportunity for tenant signage at a high-visibility location from the I-15 and Aero Drive.”

AERO is represented by Hulse and fellow Colliers International brokers Tom Mercer and Derek Applebaum.

The development 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, and is in development on two projects in Orange County.

The firm also just completed Avalon in Newport Beach, a Rapt Studios design that Bixby liked well enough that it also relocated its corporate headquarter location there.


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