Orange County’s 1st Open-Air Office Village Debuts

Irvine Co. has completed the initial phase of the innovative 28-building project.

Innovation Office Park. Rendering courtesy of Irvine Co.

Irvine Co. has opened the first phase of the 1.1 million-square-foot Innovation Office Park in Irvine, Calif., consisting of eight buildings totaling just under 300,000 square feet.

Construction on the campus, a first-of-its-kind open-air office village, started in 2019, with a focus on outdoor amenities, health and wellness. Upon completion, the project will comprise 28 low-rise creative office buildings.

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Irvine’s Planning Commission agreed to the developer’s plans in August 2019, according to the Orange County Register. The office park is situated just off Interstate 5, adjacent to the Irvine Spectrum business and entertainment complex and about 9 miles from Irvine’s central business district.

The first phase comprises four buildings of 20,000 square feet, two buildings of 44,000 square feet and two buildings of 64,000 square feet. Floorplates range from 10,000 to 32,000 square feet, with individual suites starting from 2,000 square feet. The office campus will include features such as a 17,000-square-foot amenity building, outdoor workspaces, dining and fitness centers and 120 EV charging stations.

Health-focused flex space

Amenity building interior. Rendering courtesy of Irvine Co.

Irvine Co. consulted with UCI Health for a review of the company’s workspace health policies, which include new cleaning regimens, touchless entries, hand sanitizing stations, ventilation optimization and other adjustments appropriate for the current context. Innovation Office Park will feature MERV-13 air filtration, energy-efficient skylights and a Viracon glass window system.

Innovation Office Park will benefit from Irvine Co.’s Flex Workspace+ program that was launched in 2019. The office solution offers turnkey workspaces with short-term leases starting at six months. Potential tenants already expressed interest in the project, as vaccination rollouts continue and companies look towards a return to the office, according to a prepared statement by Irvine Co. Executive Vice President Steve Case.

Slow but steady recovery

Orange County’s office availability reached 21.6 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to a Savills report, up 150 basis points from the previous quarter. Leasing activity increased to 1.5 million square feet, mostly due to Anduril Industries’ 630,000-square-foot lease in Costa Mesa, Calif. Economic growth is expected in the second half of the year, but the office market might recover at a slower pace than expected, the same report shows.   

Despite the pandemic, Irvine Co. carried on with construction activity in Irvine, completing upwards of 414,000 square feet of office space since last year, according to CommercialEdge data. The company ranks among California’s top office owners, with over 24 million square feet across the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

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