61.7 F
Laguna Hills
Monday, May 23, 2022

EDITORIAL

- Advertisement -

THERE IS LIFE AFTER SUBPRIME.

At least at 2600 Michelson Drive in Irvine, home to the Business Journal for nearly a decade now. Last week, gym operator LA Fitness moved into our building near John Wayne Airport from the Irvine Spectrum.

The company’s subleased three floors, about 60,000 square feet, from Orange-based ACC Capital Holdings, parent of subprime lenders Ameriquest Mortgage and Argent Mortgage.

The elevator hallway and parking structure are full again. And don’t let the LA Fitness name fool you, there’s even more smokers ringing the outside of the building.

It’s a big change from the past few months. ACC pulled out some time ago, part of a plan announced last year to drastically cut back its office space around the county.

The move left a chunk of our building empty and made parking more plentiful. For the past few weeks, tenant improvement contractors hauled out old furniture and set up LA Fitness’ offices.

Having been here a while, it’s kind of fun to watch the ebb and flow of tenants from our building. Before ACC, there was Instafi.com, a once highflying mortgage broker that closed in 2003. Founder Sean Roberts, whose office had a shower and personal bathroom with a view, later filed for personal bankruptcy.

Instafi’s rise and fall was spectacular to watch, bringing back memories of the dot-com boom. Our parking structure was dotted with exotic sports cars, including Roberts’ with “instafi” on the license plate.

Smokers from Instafi didn’t even bother to take off their phone headsets during breaks outside the building.

ACC was more sedate, even insular.

The company redid Instafi’s floors, frosting over windows that looked out to the first floor lobby and putting in security cameras throughout its floors. The elevator bays were turned a metallic gray. The cubicles and office furniture were nice, though nothing out of the ordinary.

For a while, a sign featuring the Ameriquest blimp was posted near the elevators urging workers to take part in a charity effort.

As for LA Fitness, it has redone ACC’s former space in a similar way,nice but unpretentious. There are plenty of trucks and SUVs in the parking structure, but no flashy sports cars.

The company’s arrival reminds me of my junior high years, when a nearby school closed and all of the kids transferred to my school, bringing a lot of new faces to the hallways and cafeteria. This time around, they’re in the elevator waiting area and at Michelson Cafe, our quirky building eatery.

On behalf of the Business Journal, welcome to 2600 Michelson, LA Fitness. Hope you can stay for a while.

,Michael Lyster

Featured Articles

Related Articles