A fast-growing New York-based media publication with ties to China has inked a 26,680-square-foot sublease deal in Irvine.
The Epoch Times Media Group, which describes itself as an independent and nonpartisan news company and specializes locally in its Irvine coverage, subleased the first floor of an office at the Market Place Center, a mid-rise building park next to Irvine Co.’s Market Place shopping center, near the intersection of Jamboree Road and the Santa Ana (5) Freeway.
It subleased the building from RealPage, an Irvine data analytics and property management software company.
The space is more than four times larger than Epoch Times’ previous office at Park Plaza in Irvine, and is a far cry from the 1,800 square feet it occupied nearly four years ago in Orange County.
With the deal, Epoch Times is now among OC’s largest newspapers by office footprint; the OC Register is reported to occupy a smaller amount of square feet at its base at the Centerview office tower near John Wayne Airport.
Mark Coffey of Orange County Commercial Real Estate represented Epoch, while Patrick Ryan and Chon Kantikovit with Cushman & Wakefield represented the sublessor in the lease.
The two-story building runs 53,360 square feet and is owned by Newport Beach’s Irvine Co., according to CoStar Group, which first reported the deal.
“We took advantage of the sublease market in Orange County as the region’s office market continues to suffer,” Coffey told the Business Journal.
RealPage had only been in the office for about a year before shifting to a remote workforce. The lease runs through June 2026.
The office at 330 Commerce Drive is expected to house about 20 Epoch employees, according to Coffey.
It’s in the same office park as the new headquarters for security giant Allied Universal, which last year signed a lease for an entire 53,360-square-foot office at Market Place Center. The company moved its headquarters from its 35,185-square-foot hub along the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway in Santa Ana.
Epoch will redevelop a portion of the site into a new production studio for its website and social media channels. The company’s print production site is in El Monte, and the firm also counts U.S. offices in Los Angeles, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Top 10 Deal
“According to Epoch, the paper is the fastest-growing print newspaper in the U.S. over the past three years,” Coffey said.
The lease was one of the 10 largest new office deals inked here during the fourth quarter, according to brokerage data.
The paper was founded in 2000 “in response to communist repression and censorship in China,” the company said on its website. It’s affiliated with the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which promises followers “a path to salvation,” according to a description from The Economist.
The media organization has been frequently described as a far-right wing outlet, but it refers to itself as “free from the influence of any government, corporation or political party.”