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TUSTIN, CA-In a move that underscores Orange County’s importance as a high-tech center, Level 3 Communications Inc. has paid $7.5 million for an 87,826-sf building at 14452 Franklin Ave. in this Orange County suburb.

Level 3 is based in Broomfield, CO., and is one of the fastest-growing manufacturers of fiber-optic data and communications networks in the nation. It has network centers in Los Angeles and San Diego and views Orange County as a part of a logical growth pattern, according to Bonni Carr, Level 3′s senior network developer in charge of the new OC operation.

Chris Coyte and Jim Snyder of the Newport Beach office of Lee & Associates represented the seller, OC-based Franklin Partnership. Chip Wright of CB Richard Ellis’ Newport Beach office represented Level 3.

Level 3 plans to spend another $2.5 million to renovate and upgrade the building and move in about $1.8 million in computer and networking equipment, Carr adds.

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