Notable office owner the Irvine Co. has seen a resurgence in office leasing activity in over the last six months during the pandemic. The firm closed 2 million square feet in lease transactions with more than 200 companies in its Orange County portfolio. These transactions included lease renewals, new leases and lease expansions.

"Companies and their employees recognize the value of the office for innovation, collaboration, culture and more. Gensler recently published a study that stated only 12 percent of employees want to work from home in the future. Of course, during a pandemic, wellness and flexibility became major focal points. We offer optimal ventilation and air filtration systems, touch free environments, disinfection protocols beyond CDC guidelines and other industry-leading safety protocols to help customers come back to the office with confidence," Thomas Greubel, VP of leasing at the Irvine Co. office properties, tells "We also offer more than 1,000 spacious outdoor open-air meeting and gathering areas, which are desirable and increasingly important meeting hubs, particularly when physical distancing is required."

While the 2 million square feet in activity was exclusive to the firm's Orange County portfolio, Greubel says that the firm saw similar traction at its San Diego properties as well. "Fortunately, we have also experienced significant leasing activity in San Diego for the same reasons. Companies remain bullish about Orange County and San Diego because of the access to talent, desirability of places to live and work, and because of our vibrant workplace communities that focus on wellness," he said.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.