Smith: u201cI liked the opportunity to do something with the land. There's a potential development play there.u201d

ORANGE, CA—The ability to add to nearby owned assets to its acquisitions roster was one of the reasons why the City Parkway Collection appealed to the Greenlaw Partners LLC, the firm’s principal Wil Smith tells Smith says the purchase of the property allows the firm to continue the assemblage of buildings in the same geographic area, since it already owned two other properties nearby.

As reported earlier this month, the Abbey Co. sold the City Parkway Collection, a two-building, class-A office portfolio at 500 and 600 City Parkway West here, to Greenlaw Partners for approximately $45.5 million. The 269,395-square-foot portfolio is roughly 83% occupied by a mix of national and regionally recognized tenants across a wide range of industries.

The 19-story Orange City Plaza and four-story 4000 Metropolitan are the two nearby properties Greenlaw owns here in Orange. When asked what the properties have in common and why City Parkway Collection fits in with previous purchases, Smith says, “I liked the basics and also the opportunity to do something with the land at City Parkway Collection. There’s a potential development play there.”

City Parkway Collection sits on 7.85 acres of land and consists of a four-story office building developed in 1978 and renovated in 2002, as well as a10-story office building developed in 1978 and renovated in 2002.

Regarding the Orange County office market, Smith says, “We’re just starting to see the upward pressure on rents, and I’m aware of several lease transactions in the area that are in the works, which should make the market even tighter and hopefully continue to add upward pressure on rents.” He adds that the firm is potentially seeking more acquisitions in this market. “It just depends on the opportunity.”

According to CORFAC International, in the second quarter, the Orange County office market posted more than 740,000 square feet of positive net absorption, the most positive absorption seen in one quarter since the first quarter of 2007. The second quarter of 2014 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of rising lease rates.

In addition, as a whole, the Orange County office market has posted more than 6.5 million square feet of positive absorption since the third quarter of 2010, 3.5 million of that in the last nine quarters, according to Irvine, CA-based Voit Real Estate Services/CORFAC International. As the recovery continues, Voit’s VP of market research, Jerry Holdner, notes that research-oriented businesses such as IT, defense, medical, and alternative energy are leading the charge for positive absorption in the Orange County office market.