1851 E. 1st St., also known as Xerox Centre, in Santa Ana.

ORANGE COUNTY, CA-Stearns Lending Inc., a privately held nationwide lending institution encompassing correspondent, wholesale and retail business channels, has signed two leases here for a total of 62,517 square feet. The firm has taken 41,076 square feet at 555 Anton, part of the MetroCenter at South Coast campus in Costa Mesa, and 21,441 square feet at 1851 E. 1st St., also known as Xerox Centre, in Santa Anta.

Jack McNutt, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, represented the tenant on both leases. RREEF, owner of MetroCenter at South Coast, was represented by Brian Harnetiaux of Transwestern, while 1851 East First Street Investors LLC, owner of the Xerox Centre, was represented by Justin Hill and Simon Dillon of CBRE. Stearns Lending is anticipated to take occupancy of both locations on or before May 1.

“Stearns elected to expand outside of its current headquarters at 4 Hutton Centre in Santa Ana to take advantage of favorable economics being offered by each respective landlord and the ability to secure prominent building-top signage at each property,” said McNutt in a prepared statement. “Stearns is experiencing remarkable growth both locally and nationally, which drove its decision to take new space to accommodate various departments and affiliated entities at MetroCenter at South Coast and Xerox Centre.”

As GlobeSt.com previously reported, earlier this month Craig Scheuerle and Matt Guerreri of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented landlord Broad One in a roughly $3.3-million lease agreement with DMI Partners, a national online marketing and advertising agency, to allow the tenant to expand its offices to 16,139 square feet on the 11th floor of One South Broad in Philadelphia.

Is building-top signage a deal-breaker for leases these days? Let us know your experience with this topic in the comment box below.