Pacific Financial Plaza: KBS lease for 42,000 square feet begins next year

Pacific Financial Plaza: KBS lease for 42,000 square feet begins next year

Pacific Investment Management Co. is several months away from moving into its new 20-story headquarters at 650 Newport Center Drive, but that hasn’t stopped other area businesses from leasing portions of the complex holding the bond giant’s existing base.

Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors is the latest local company that will backfill soon-to-be-vacated Pimco space at Pacific Financial Plaza, the three-building office complex in the 800 block of Newport Center.

KBS, which invests money for pension funds and also has a series of nontraded real estate investment trusts that raise money from individual investors, recently signed a nearly 42,000-square-foot lease at the complex and is scheduled to move into the space next year.

KBS has been based out of the nearby tower at 620 Newport Center Drive, which, along with Pacific Financial Plaza, is owned by Newport Beach-based Irvine Company.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to consolidate,” said KBS Chief Executive Chuck Schreiber, whose company employs about 150 people in two Newport Center offices.

Other large leases signed at Pacific Financial Plaza of late include Newport Beach-based insurance giant Pacific Life Insurance Co., whose aviation leasing group inked a new 32,500-square-foot lease at the complex.

Pacific Financial Plaza is about 280,000 square feet. Its other tenants include Irell & Manella LLP, one of Orange County’s largest law firms; Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC; and tenant brokerage Travers Realty Corp.

Pimco had been leasing about 180,000 square feet at the complex, as well as space at other nearby centers, when it signed a deal with Irvine Co. to build the 380,000-square-foot tower at 650 Newport Center Drive.

Irvine Co. officials said that with the KBS deal completed, the landlord has now leased or is in talks to lease about 85% of the space Pimco has occupied at Pacific Financial Plaza.

“This is a sign of strength in the Newport Center office market, as it is rare for large blocks of space to come available there,” Irvine Co. spokesperson Mike Lyster said.

Also helping the leasing activity is a nearly yearlong renovation at the property, according to Lyster.

Improvements include a redesigned visitors parking area and new outdoor workspaces.

Irvine Co. bought Pacific Financial Plaza in late 2010 in a deal estimated at more than $125 million. It had been one of the few upscale offices in the area surrounding the Fashion Island shopping center that the company hadn’t already owned.