Smart Value-Add Strategy Continues To Pay Off

July 31, 2017by debbieheinze

By Carrie Rossenfeld

Bixby’s EVP and chief acquisitions officer Mike Severson will be speaking at RealShare Orange County on Aug. 24 during the panel “Industrial Market: New Opportunities for Orange County.” Don’t miss it.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—Leasing velocity is ramping up for two of Bixby Land Co.’s officeproperties in Orange County, marking the maturation of the firm’s strategy on those buildings and the continued demand for quality office space here.

The firm has signed two new leases at Avalon, the two-story office building it redeveloped at 1501 Quail St. here. Online product-marketing company eJam has leased 4,216 square feet, relocating within Newport Beach from a former location at 1375 Dove St. eJam has undergone rapid growth as an Alibaba reseller and was represented in the lease by Jack McNutt of Newmark Knight Frank.

According to Bill DeLaney, asset manager at Bixby, “A deciding factor in the leasing decision for eJam was the ambiance of the building and the attention to detail in the design and materials used throughout the project. The project has a unique vibe that companies recognize the moment they enter the building.”

Also, interior design firm Style Interior Designs is relocating from an Irvine, CA, location to lease 3,071 square feet at Avalon. The firm sought a high-image office environment to complement its design aesthetics and was represented in the lease transaction by Richard Sung of Orion Property Partners.

Bixby Land Company was represented in both transactions by Bob Thagard and John Harty of Cushman & Wakefield.

These lease transactions leave Avalon with one remaining office suite available in the building: a 13,388-square-foot space featuring a separate private entrance, dedicated restrooms and an open, flexible floor plan. Avalon targets companies that value a vibrant work environment for their employees. Designed by Rapt Studio’s Sam Farhang, the building features a second-floor indoor/outdoor lounge, the Loft; is dog friendly; offers beach cruisers for tenants’ use; and has an electric-vehicle-charging station.

DeLaney tells, “In the case of Avalon, the final remaining suite is ideal for a tenant seeking stand-alone identity, yet with the common-area amenities and energy of a multi-tenant building.”

Bixby is nearing the completion of its investment strategy for CERRO.

In addition to Avalon, Bixby has recently leased approximately 21,000 square feet at CERRO, a four-story professional office building at 27401 Los Altos in Mission Viejo, CA, that was completed by Bixby earlier this year and is now 93% leased. Included in that leasing activity is a transaction with Pulte Homes, which will occupy the majority of the top floor in lease totaling 13,798 square feet and spanning 78 months. Justin Hill and Simon Dillon of CBRE represent Bixby in the transaction, although lease terms were not disclosed.

“We recognized when we acquired this property that there was an undersupply of office space for professional-service tenants seeking a high-identity location in the immediate market,” says Aaron Hill, Bixby’s EVP and COO. “Having finished a significant redesign of the project, we anticipated CERRO would be well received by tenants in the area.”

Three additional transactions bring recent leasing activity at CERRO to more than 21,000 square feet. Amur Equipment Finance leased 3,322 square feet, represented by Jordan De Meis of Southwest Commercial Real Estate, while Bay Equity leased 2,475 square feet and was represented by Matt Fryer of Lee & Associates. Also, Eureka Capital Partners leased 1,823 square feet, as represented by Tom Gibson of Gibson Co.

Bixby and IA Interior Architects redesigned the four-story CERRO with a high-volume entryway and new lobby, plus common area upgrades throughout the building. The Bixby Retreat, an outdoor living room and gathering area, welcomes guests upon entry. The building has also been improved with new elevator systems and undergone major landscaping upgrades.

Bixby is nearing the completion of its investment strategy for CERRO. The project will deliver a 4,049 square-foot spec suite on the fourth floor this fall, and has another suite with 972 square feet available.

Hill tells, “We have two remaining suites available at CERRO, bringing to maturation the value-add investment strategy for the project.

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