Orange County Business Journal

25-Acre Raytheon Campus in Fullerton Sold

Hines, Oaktree Team Up to Get 2 Buildings, 405,000 SF Mark Mueller Saturday, January 12, 2013
Raytheon: develops defense systems, has U.S. headquarters for joint venture with French counterpart at site

Raytheon: develops defense systems, has U.S. headquarters for joint venture with French counterpart at site

A 25-acre site in Fullerton that holds the main local operations of defense contractor Raytheon Co. has been sold in what’s believed to be one of the larger office transactions of the past year.

Executives with Houston-based real estate developer and investor Hines Interests LP said last week that it had closed on the purchase of the Raytheon Campus, a two-building, 405,130-square-foot office complex that sits next to Amerige Heights, a housing and retail development.

Terms of the sale, which closed at the end of December, were not immediately disclosed.

The deal appears to be the second-largest office transaction seen in Orange County over the past year in terms of square feet, trailing only September’s sale of the Michelson, a 19-story, 536,000-square-foot tower in Irvine.

Pricing

Pricing for the Raytheon Campus isn’t believed to be close to what was seen for the high-end Michelson building, which set local records by trading for close to $270 million.

Real estate sources not involved in the transaction said they expected that the Fullerton property commanded a price in excess of $50 million, although terms of a ground lease for the property made it hard to get a firm estimate on a sales figure.

Raytheon leases the entire property under a deal that runs through early 2017, although the Waltham, Mass.-based company has several renewal options that could extend the lease into 2042.

Raytheon also is believed to own the grounds of the campus, and had been leasing it to the last owner of the buildings there under a deal that could potentially run into 2062, according to marketing materials from Cushman & Wakefield Inc., whose brokers listed the campus for sale.

Hines executives declined to comment on the purchase price for the buildings, citing strict confidentiality agreements with the seller, whose name also wasn’t disclosed.

Hines partnered with Los Angeles private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management LP to buy the Raytheon Campus. It’s one of three acquisitions in OC that Hines and

Oaktree have made together over the past year.

The two companies late last year also bought Irvine Corporate Center, a 126,633-square-foot office in Santa Ana that’s part of the Irvine Business Complex, the largely commercial area surrounding John Wayne Airport.

Site

The Raytheon Campus was built in 1986 and is located at 1801 Hughes Drive. It counts a pair of three-story office buildings as well as an onsite utility structure.

The site is nestled in the corner of what used to be a larger complex used by Hughes Aircraft Co. Raytheon has had operations in Fullerton since acquiring Hughes Aircraft in 1997.

An undeveloped 8.7-acre site across from the campus, at 1950 Hughes Drive, was bought last year by Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp., which plans to build about 115 homes.

The Raytheon Campus is said to be used by the company to develop radar and air-operation command-and-control systems. The site also serves as the U.S. headquarters for ThalesRaytheonSystems Co., a venture between Raytheon and France-based Thales Group.

Raytheon and its related venture was Fullerton’s third-largest employer as of 2010, with 1,446 employees, according to city records.

David Dowd, a broker in the Irvine office of Cushman & Wakefield, represented the seller in the Fullerton sale, along with Jim Jordan and Ben Cooper from the company’s New York office, and David Hasbrouck, from Cushman’s Los Angeles office.