Orange County Business Journal

No FDIC? No Problem: Amazon Subsidiary Fills Out 40 Pacifica

REAL ESTATE: Lease to a2z replaces feds fast at Spectrum Mark Mueller Saturday, April 14, 2012
Summer plans: CoreLogic arrival, a2z expansion at 40 Pacifica expected mid-year

Summer plans: CoreLogic arrival, a2z expansion at 40 Pacifica expected mid-year

Signs of improving fortunes in Orange County’s office market and the region’s banking industry can be seen in a deal that will fill up a high-rise Irvine Spectrum office building used by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. while overseeing financial-crisis fallout.

Better still: The FDIC was gone a little more than a month before its former space at Irvine Company’s 40 Pacific was leased up.

Software developer a2z Development Center Inc., a unit of Seattle-based Amazon.com, raised its profile in the 15-story building—where it quietly has occupied 30,000 square feet for about a year—with a new lease giving it a third of the building at almost 110,000 square feet, sources said.

The 80,000-square-foot expansion is one of the larger office leases for a higher-end OC building in the past year.

A2z Development also has space in Lake Forest. It’s unclear if that office will move to Irvine, and officials were unavailable for comment.

Information from Washington, D.C.-based market tracker CoStar Group Inc. indicates a2z Development will move into the additional space at 40 Pacifica in July, taking over space on the 2nd, 3rd, 11th and 14th floors of the building.

CoreLogic

The move is scheduled to occur around the same time that Santa Ana-based CoreLogic Inc. is slated to begin relocating its headquarters into 170,000 square feet of space at 40 Pacifica. That blockbuster lease was announced last summer.

Executives with Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. declined to disclose any recently signed tenants for 40 Pacifica but confirmed the building is now effectively full.

The activity forms the latest chapter in an eventful first five years for 40 Pacifica, a 314,000-square-foot building built by Irvine Co. along the San Diego (405) freeway in the last commercial real estate boom, along with sister building 20 Pacifica.

Irvine Co. landed a headliner tenant in the FDIC, which in 2009 signed a 200,000-square-foot lease at 40 Pacifica—one of the largest office leases seen in OC in several years. The FDIC used the West Coast satellite office to manage receiverships and to liquidate assets from failed financial institutions, primarily those based in the Western U.S. The space was said to hold up to 600 employees.

The lease was for three years, with two one-year options. The FDIC said last year the options wouldn’t be exercised—a reflection, they said, of improving health in the banking industry—and the satellite office was closed in February.

Other Spectrum Buildings

The county’s dominant landlord said it has inked leases totaling more than 300,000 square feet at 20 and 40 Pacifica since last summer. Those two buildings, along with others at 8001 and 8105 Irvine Center Drive, give the landlord about 1.3 million square feet of high-rise office space in the Spectrum.

Irvine Co’s high-rises in the Spectrum are now about 95% full, said Steve Case, executive vice president for Irvine Co.’s office properties division.

“That is extraordinary in this market and speaks to the quality of the buildings and the attraction of the Irvine Spectrum,” Case said.

The 40 Pacifica building becomes one of the most tech-heavy offices in the Spectrum with data-analytics company CoreLogic’s pending move and the a2z Development expansion.

The software maker’s OC offices includes a device-development team that last year helped launch the Amazon Appstore for Android, as well as a game development studio that makes products for Android, iPhone, Kindle and other platforms.

The a2z Development website lists openings for a dozen or so OC jobs including game designers, senior engineers and software developers.

The company also has offices in San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Cupertino and Charleston, S.C.