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Irvine Co. Buys Newport Center Office, Announces Reinvestment Plans

Newport Beach’s Irvine Co. is making a big reinvestment push in the area around its Newport Center headquarters, after buying a three-building office complex and announcing more renovation plans for its Fashion Island shopping center.

The real estate investor and developer said on Tuesday it closed on its acquisition of Pacific Financial Plaza, a 280,000 square foot office complex that holds the headquarters of bond fund manager Pacific Investment Management Co. and others.

Terms of the transaction, the first big sale in years for the upscale Newport Center office market, were not disclosed.

The Business Journal first reported on an expected deal for the complex last month. Sources said at the time the sale could run close to $125 million if not higher.

Orange County’s dominant real estate company also said it is exploring additional office development in the area. It already owns 13 other office complexes in Newport Center.

“We are undergoing the evaluation of several possible alternatives that enhance North Newport Center as a premier business environment,” said Doug Holte, president of Irvine Co.’s office properties division, in a statement.

The office moves come as Irvine Co. said it is making an equally big investment in its local retail holdings at nearby Fashion Island.

The company’s seven-screen Island Cinemas movie theater is set to close next month and will be redeveloped. It will reopen by next Christmas, according to the company.

The project kicks off the second phase of redevelopment for Fashion Island; the first phase, which is wrapping up now, cost $100 million and saw nearly 20 new stores added to the mall.

More store openings are expected by next spring, according to Keith Eyrich, president of Irvine Co.’s retail properties.

Tuesday’s announcements ensure “Newport Center will remain a thriving center for mixed-use activities,” according to the company.

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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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