LBA Realty is switching gears on plans for the former spot of the Sport Chalet, at the retail portion of its Park Place mixed-use campus in Irvine.
After the sporting goods retailer shuttered all of its Orange County stores in 2016, including the one at Park Place, near the Houston’s restaurant at the campus, a luxury movie theater was expected to take its place.
That idea was nixed following the pandemic.
The landlord is now envisioning a 40,000-square-foot creative office space that will include 5,000 square feet of food and beverage uses.
Construction began late last year on the office, which will front Jamboree Road, near the intersection of Michelson Drive. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
“This is a great opportunity that’s ideal for a single-office tenant looking for a standalone space, especially in the wake of COVID-19,” Bob Thagard, an executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield who handles leasing efforts along with CBRE Group Inc. for the 2.2 million-square-foot Park Place development, told the Business Journal.
Movie Theater Nixed
iPic Entertainment confirmed plans in 2018 for a 310-seat luxury theater, including a bar and restaurant that would serve as an anchor tenant at Park Place. Initial plans were to open the theater in fall 2020.
Movie theaters have been among the hardest hit in the retail and hospitality sector in the wake of COVID-19 with theaters forced to close as a result of state guidelines.
After about six months of closures, movie theaters in Orange County were permitted to partially reopen in September as a result of improving metrics, only to close two months later following rising cases and stricter business regulations.
Regal Cinemas was the largest theater chain to cease operations as a result of the pandemic, announcing plans in October to close all 536 locations indefinitely.
LBA’s latest plans for the spot tie into a larger trend for open-office work spaces, a demand that’s been bolstered by the pandemic.
Brokers note that tenants are looking for safer work environments that facilitate social distancing and limit interaction with other offices.
This is easier for mid- to low-rise offices and those with multiple entry points, outdoor areas and surface parking.
Park Place’s new office suite aims to hit these points and also provide “a unique work space for companies looking to do more than just provide a physical office for their employees.”
Leasing efforts are underway.