In the chips?: real estate industry sources point to area between Quail Hill, Laguna Altura

In the chips?: real estate industry sources point to area between Quail Hill, Laguna Altura

Irvine Company has presented plans for a massive campus in the Irvine Spectrum to chipmaker Broadcom Corp. as it seeks to retain one of Orange County’s largest and most prominent enterprises as a tenant, according to real estate industry sources.

The plans from the Newport Beach-based landlord, the dominant office owner in OC, call for a multibuilding office campus just south of the San Diego (405) Freeway that could run more than 1 million square feet, sources said last week.

The campus would be on a stretch of undeveloped land between the Quail Hill and Laguna Altura residential developments.

Irvine Co. executives confirmed that an office campus on a scale that could accommodate a company of Broadcom’s size is being planned for the site.

It is not known how far along any negotiations between Irvine Co. and Broadcom have progressed, or if the chipmaker—which ranks in the top 10 globally and has a market value of about $14.7 billion—is seriously considering a return to the Spectrum.

The privately held real estate developer and investor declined to discuss the status of any possible ongoing negotiations between the two companies for the site.

Broadcom officials also declined to comment.

Broadcom currently leases about 920,000 square feet of space from Irvine Co. in University Park, a business park next to the University of California, Irvine, running along the San Joaquin Hills (73) Toll Road (see related story, page 3).

The chipmaker moved to University Park in 2007 after Irvine Co. built an eight-building campus and offered a 10-year lease initially valued at about $183 million. Broadcom had been based in the Spectrum prior to that move, at buildings that now hold the headquarters of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.

Broadcom is said to be exploring several options for a new headquarters, including a renewal of its lease at University Research Park.

The most prominent option reported to date has been for Broadcom to relocate to a new complex that would go up at the Tustin Legacy development under construction at that city’s former Marine helicopter base.

Formal negotiations between Broadcom and the city of Tustin have been ongoing for more than 18 months in meetings closed to the public. The two parties were still discussing “price and terms of payment” for the Tustin Legacy land this month, according to city documents.

City officials in Irvine said earlier this year that land adjacent to the Great Park was also given at least passing interest by Broadcom for a potential move.

A few other areas across the county also have been rumored as potential locations for the tech company, which employs about 2,400 people in Orange County.

Broadcom’s technology is used for tablet computers, smartphones, set-top boxes, broadband modems, networking gear and other products. The company had about $8 billion in revenue last year.