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Advantech’s Tustin Campus Plans Move Ahead

Advantech Co., a Taiwanese-based maker of industrial PCs, embedded Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other tech products valued at over $9 billion, says it remains committed to building a new North American headquarters on a 9.5-acre site on the Tustin Legacy development.

Plans for the company include the construction of a six-story, 108,942-square-foot office building. The building is among the larger build-to-suit office projects in the works in Orange County.

An additional two-story 78,837-square-foot warehouse facility at the site will be used for storage, light manufacturing, repairing, and packaging of non-hazardous industrial computer-related products.

Advantech, founded in 1983 and now with a local base in the Irvine Spectrum running less than 30,000 square feet, said this month that it intends to begin construction later this year.

It aims to move to the new facility by late 2025.

Progress at the development site has been slow.

A formal ground-breaking event was held last May, but there’s been no visible construction done at the site since then.

Officials told the Business Journal late last year that the effect of the nearby hangar fire in Tustin hadn’t deterred their plans. The 9.5-acre site, at the intersection of Red Hill Avenue and Victory Boulevard, sits about a mile from the destroyed hangar.

$24M Buy Option

Advantech has agreed to a ground lease with an option to purchase, and intends to take ownership of the property in 2034, according to a statement this month from commercial real estate brokerage Kidder Mathews.

The company will initially occupy the buildings under a 75-year ground lease deal that will see the company pay some $760,000 a year in rent at the start, according to a deal worked out last year.

Advantech has the option to buy out the ground lease for more than $24 million about a decade from now, according to regulatory filings. The company intends to do so, according to its brokers.

Kidder Mathews represented the technology company in securing the lease from the landlord, the South Orange County Community College District.

The site is part of the district’s Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP), a 61-acre site on the northwestern edge of Tustin Legacy, which is largely geared towards educational uses. It’s the largest project announced at ATEP to date.

NAI Capital represented the landlord in the deal, and said that if Advantech were to lease the land for the entirety of the 75-year deal, and not exercise its right to buy the property, it would result in rent payments totaling about $265 million.

Depending on the product type, the ATEP campus has the potential to accommodate between 1.1 million and 1.7 million square feet of space, according to NAI Capital.

School district filings indicate Mirack Construction and JJP Architects and Planners are involved in the Advantech project.

Attracting Talent

“Selecting a place for our North American campus entailed more than just locating a viable construction site,” said Ween Niu, general manager of Advantech North America.

He continued: “We wanted to find a location that would address the needs of our existing team members in terms of city amenities and services, while also finding a location that would be an exciting and inspiring attraction for new talent.”

The company has more than 1,000 product lines, serving medical equipment builders, industrial equipment builders, as well as networking, health and telecoms companies, with the product array becoming more diversified as the company moves into more industrial Internet of Things areas.

It works with partners across a range of market sectors to provide edge-to-cloud solutions for a wide array of applications—driving smart cities, smart factories and the advancement of industrial and commercial IoT.

“This new base will perfectly embody the company’s brand image, IoT expertise, and North American ambition,” the tech company said in a statement last year, when the deal was first announced.

Advantech’s shares are traded on Taiwan’s stock exchange and it counts a $9.2 billion valuation. It was reported to have about 150 employees in Irvine in 2020, when it told the Business Journal it was planning a big boost to its local operations and had begun searching out options for a larger base in the area.

Collaboration

For the six-story headquarters office building, floors three through six are due to be utilized for a 74,396-square-foot R&D area for computers and related components, according to 2023 school district filings.

In addition, Advantech “will be required to provide educational opportunities and support to the District and its students and staff, including the provision of direct educational support to ATEP’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, sponsorship of non-STEM college events and scholarships; and shared use of facilities and equipment; as well as support of District students through career coaching as well as paid internships and direct job placements,” filings indicate.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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