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Costa Mesa’s Plaza Tower Gets Flurry of Leasing

Plaza Tower, one of Costa Mesa’s best-known and swankiest offices, has experienced nearly 100,000 square feet of leasing activity from a variety of tenants over the past few weeks.

The largest of the deals, the 21-story, 456,384-square-foot building next to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts at 600 Anton Blvd. recently renewed IBM Corp., one of its largest and oldest tenants.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based technology giant signed a deal for 70,640 square feet on lower floors, according to brokerage Cushman & Wakefield Inc., which oversees leasing there and at other nearby offices in the city’s arts district.

The offices, also including Center Tower and the 3420 Bristol St. building, which is undergoing a renovation, are owned and run by C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, operator of the nearby South Coast Plaza shopping center.

IBM was a prior investor in the Plaza Tower building, according to Cushman Executive Director Rob Lambert.

Plaza Tower, designed by architect Cesar Pelli, opened in 1992 and is considered one of the county’s nicest and most distinctive office buildings. It’s in the process of getting new amenities, including a ground-floor fitness center, according to Lambert.

IBM’s lease represents a slight space increase compared to its last deal at Plaza Tower, according to CoStar Group Inc. records, and is among the top local office leases reported this year by square footage.

Other notable recent leases there include a new tenant, accounting firm Marcum LLP, which will occupy the nearly 23,000-square-foot 16th floor. Marcum’s local office had been at 1920 Main St. in the Irvine Concourse.

And insurance brokerage Deeley Renton & Associates recently leased about 6,400 square feet.

Shared-Space Center

While Plaza Tower has gotten its share of leasing, the smallest of the four area buildings run by C.J. Segerstrom & Sons is getting the lion’s share of upgrades.

The seven-story 3420 Bristol St. office, long known as the California Bank & Trust Building, is in the middle of its largest design revamp since opening in the late 1960s. The makeover includes a modern-looking shell, upgraded landscaping, patio space and a new parking layout.

The largest tenant there is TechSpace Inc., an Aliso Viejo-based firm that offers smaller businesses flexible lease terms and ready-to-use technology. It occupies two floors and is one of several shared-space operators in the vicinity.

At Irvine Co.’s nearby Pacific Arts Plaza, shared-space firm WeWork Cos. Inc. recently opened its second Orange County location in about 40,000 square feet at 3200 Park Center Drive.

Another shared-space firm, Spaces, recently announced its own second OC location, also in Costa Mesa, that should open in July.

The company’s Space The Met at The Met office complex has about 27,400 square feet of office space, the smallest offices at $269 per month and private offices starting at $569 per month. The Met has been getting a massive overhaul during the past two years headed by McCarthy Cook.

Spaces’ other OC location is at Irvine’s Intersect campus near John Wayne Airport.

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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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