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Irvine Co. Could Grab Key San Diego Towers

The Irvine Company is said to be in escrow on another San Diego office building and may have its sights on the city’s premier tower as well.

The two sales could be worth more than $430 million if completed. Both towers are in escrow, according to Orange County and San Diego real estate sources.

Irvine Co. officials declined to comment.

The Newport Beach-based company entered the San Diego office market in 2003, buying four buildings since then for about $550 million.

Now sources said the Irvine Co. is in escrow to buy Koll Center, a 21-story, 372,828-square-foot building at 501 W. Broadway.

The price is estimated at $150 million, or about $402 per square foot.

Orange County developer Donald Koll put up the center in 1989.

Koll Center: could sell for $150 million

The capitalization rate,the expected return from rents and fees,is less than 6%, according to trade publication Real Estate Alert.

The Irvine Co. also is reportedly close to buying One America Plaza, San Diego’s most distinctive skyline tower.

The 34-story, 570,000-square-foot building, at 600 W. Broadway, could go for $500 per square foot, sources said.

That could put a sale at about $285 million.

GE Asset Management, the real estate unit of General Electric Co., owns both buildings in partnership with Sentre Partners, a San Diego-based real estate investment and management firm.

Sentre leases and manages the buildings.

The Irvine Co. bought two San Diego towers, the SBC and NBC buildings, from GE last year.

GE and Sentre bought Koll Center in late 2003 for $93 million. One America Plaza was acquired about a year earlier, reportedly for $166 million.

The reports are the latest involving the Irvine Co. as an office tower acquirer.

Last week, the company confirmed it had bought the 900,000-square-foot Irvine Center Towers office complex near John Wayne Airport. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The company is said to be close to buying Newport Center Gateway in Newport Beach for about $220 million, or about $375 to $385 per square foot.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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