SANTA ANA, CA-An 85,339-square foot office lease here, plus anumber of smaller deals signed recently in the county, havecontinued the momentum that was reported in recent market surveys,albeit the OC office market remains "one of the country's mostcompetitive," according to one of the landlords in the deals. Thereference to competition came from Los Angeles-based HighridgePartners, which signed Edison Mission Energy to a 10-year lease for85,339 square feet at 3 MacArthur Place, a 246,819-square-footoffice tower that Highridge bought for $31 million last year.

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The lease with Edison illustrated the "positive momentum" thatCB Richard Ellis described in Orange County's office market inCBRE's second-quarter office market survey last month. That reportcited declining rents as one of the factors driving deals, andsaid, "Many tenants are starting to move forward with expansionplans as the time is right to take advantage of the competitivelease rates and concessions being offered by landlords."

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The lease by Edison, which is an owner and operator of powerproduction plants, was one of two significant deals that haveboosted occupancy to 85% at 3 MacArthur. The other was a seven-yearlease renewal with T-Mobile for 20,377 square feet.

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Jack Mahoney, executive vice president of Highridge Partners,observed that, “Companies seeking office space in Orange Countyhave an abundance of options. Edison Mission, which is slated tomove from its existing headquarters in Irvine in January, wasrepresented by Al Masters and Michael Streff of RealTech. Highridgewas represented by Andrew White, Dean Chandler and Mark Friend ofCBRE.

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Among the other office leases signed recently was a commitmentby Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. for 15,000 square feet at 2100Main St. in Irvine. Building owner Morgenstern Property Co. wasrepresented by Oliver Fleener and Tim Joyce of Grubb & Ellis’Newport Beach office; the tenant was represented by Tom van Bettenof Cassidy Turley|BRE Commercial.

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Wilson Morgan LLP signed an eight-year lease for 8,363 squarefeet at 1920 Main St. in Irvine with property owner ShorensteinRealty Services. Wilson Morgan was represented by Jack McNutt ofGrubb & Ellis’ Newport Beach office, and Shorenstein by RichEssen of Orion Partners Inc.

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