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LBA Plans 6-Story Office Addition at Park Place

LBA Realty has begun to market space for lease at a new six-story office it’s planning at the Park Place campus in Irvine, adding another potential sizeable office development to the area around John Wayne Airport.

The Irvine-based commercial real estate investor and manager is in the early stages of looking for tenants for 3181 Michelson, a proposed 184,000-square-foot office that would sit alongside the San Diego (405) Freeway near the intersection of Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive.

It would be the first new office at Park Place since a 20-story tower at 3161 Michelson opened in 2007.

The existing office buildings at the sprawling campus, which also includes apartments, condos, retail and a soon-to-open AC Hotel, total about 2.7 million square feet.

The Gensler-designed 3181 Michelson office would include floors of about 34,000 square feet on average, which is larger than the floor of a typical high-end office in the airport area.

In addition, the “building will have a signature 34,000-square-foot showroom space orientated toward I-405, providing a one-of-a-kind branding and opportunity for future tenants,” according to LBA’s marketing materials for the project.

A portion of the office would be connected to a recently built parking structure on the northern side of the campus, which would allow direct access to the offices on the bottom three floors of the building.

A time frame for the building’s groundbreaking has not been disclosed, and LBA officials last week could not be reached for comment on the proposed new project.

Other real estate sources tell the Business Journal that LBA plans to start construction on the office by the end of this year, provided it can get some leasing momentum for the project.

Leasing at Park Place is led by Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Thagard and CBRE Group Inc.’s David Dowd, according to marketing materials for the property.

A bulk of the existing office space at Park Place is leased, other than space that was given back by the California Department of Transportation last year when it moved its local operations to Santa Ana.

Added Competition

The office market around the airport has just one new, sizeable for-lease project under construction: Trammell Crow Co.’s two-building Boardwalk on Jamboree Road.

The speculative project, which will total 545,000 square feet, is expected to wrap up work by the end of the year. The developers haven’t announced any leases yet.

A few other nearby office developments are also in the planning stage.

A partnership between the Irvine office of Lincoln Property Co. Commercial and Boston-based real estate private equity firm Alcion Ventures is scheduled to break ground in a few months on the first phase of Flight, a multibuilding creative-office project a few miles away at the Tustin Legacy development.

Flight is an 18-building speculative project that will be built in two phases on a portion of the city’s former Marine base, and will ultimately total about 870,000 square feet.

The first phase that’s scheduled to break ground this year will include eight offices and a stand-alone food hall and conference center, and will total nearly 400,000 square feet. The Tustin offices will be a mix of build-to-suit and for-lease buildings.

Also on the books for Irvine’s airport area: a nine-story office at 17850 Von Karman Ave. that would total 242,000 square feet. It has been proposed by the local office of Hines Interest LP.

Hines, which also is overseeing the redevelopment and lease-up of the nearby Intersect multibuilding campus at the intersection of Von Karman Avenue and Main Street, isn’t planning to break ground on the nine-story tower without tenants signed up first.

More Apartments

The LBA office at 3181 Michelson would go up on one of the few remaining undeveloped spaces at Park Place, the bulk of which LBA bought in a series of transactions in 2009 and 2010.

It has since sold several blocks of land at the site for apartment and hotel projects. In the past two years LBA has also sold interests in its ownership of the campus’ existing offices and retail holdings in a pair of deals estimated at nearly $760 million.

It’s not known whether either of the recent institutional investors in Park Place, Allianz Real Estate and Principal Real Estate Investors, would be partners in the new office development.

A heavy amount of construction work is taking place next to the proposed office site, on land that will hold a future phase of Irvine Company’s Park Place Apartment complex.

Signs at the construction site say that work on the new apartments, at 3385 Michelson, is being headed by a unit of Irvine’s Western National Group.

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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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