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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022


For a glimpse into the future of office design, see this week’s stories on Tangram Interiors’ showroom/office in Newport Beach (front page), and Allen Matkins’ new location in the Irvine Concourse office complex (page 16), part of this week’s Interior Design & Construction Special Report.

The blowout work at the new OC base of law firm Allen Matkins, courtesy of Irvine’s CCI Construction and LA’s Aref & Associates, is among the more prominent local efforts seen at bringing low-rise features and tenant amenities to the airport area’s established base of high-rises.

For property owner Emmes, the efforts could also help bring a low-rise valuation to its two-tower Centerview complex along Main Street.

By per-square-foot price, the biggest sale of a larger sized office in Irvine over the past year was for the 2722 Michelson building that counts Anduril Industries, Viant Technology and Super73 as tenants.

The single-story building, revamped by Irvine’s LBA three years ago, sold late last year for $103 million, and a sky-high $667 PSF.

Last month saw the airport area’s largest sale of a mid-rise complex in well over a year.

The four-building Intersect campus, at the intersection of Main Street and Von Karman Avenue, traded hands for $235 million, or $520 PSF. A venture between Hines and Pimco revamped the former Washington Mutual campus a few years ago as well.

By comparison, when office owner Emmes recapitalized the high rises at Centerview a little more than a year ago for a reported $188 million, the deal valued the complex at around $310 PSF. That valuation, which was less than half the PSF price of what 2722 Michelson fetched, is on the high side for a local office tower to see an ownership change of late.

Tangram Interiors counts about 50 interior designers, but when the company sought to redesign its own office in Newport Beach, CEO Joe Lozowski didn’t stay in-house, opting to use outside designers.

“Whenever I do my own spaces, I hire boutique artsy designers because we do a lot of work for big corporations and big architectural firms, and I’m always looking for someone who pushes creativity back at us,” Lozowski told the Business Journal’s Peter J. Brennan.

Accounting firm RSM, OC’s sixth largest, is among the tenants at the new mid-rise Spectrum Terrace office complex, whose latest phase of construction will include a four-lane, Olympic-length swimming pool among its amenities.

The pool isn’t a large enough training site for colleague Rafael Bravo, director of special projects with RSM’s Mexico division and an accomplished open water swimmer.

Bravo attempted (but didn’t complete) the roughly 32-km swim from Catalina Island to the mainland late last week. It was his first stab at completing the second of the three swims that make up the Triple Crown of open water swimming.

RSM’s Paul Short, managing partner of the firm’s OC office, said Chicago-based RSM’s leadership team was using its Irvine office as the hub for the event, and notes that his local office shares many clients with the RSM team from Mexico.


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