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COSTA MESA, CA-The University of Phoenix will move into a larger campus following the signing of a lease for 75,000 sf of office space in two class A buildings in Costa Mesa, according to CB Richard Ellis Inc.

Rick Sherburne of CB Richard Ellis’ Newport Beach office says the deal, one of the largest in Orange County’s John Wayne Airport-area office market this year, will put the university into 75,000 sf at 3100 and 3150 Bristol St. The university is expected to move into the new space in the fourth quarter, relocating from a 55,000-sf campus in Fountain Valley.

Sherburne was part of a team representing the university that included Travis Boyd and Alex Hayden, also of CBRE’s Newport Beach office, along with Harlan Lindholm of Apollo Development in Phoenix. Building owner CarrAmerica Realty Corp. of Washington, DC, was represented internally by Phillip Matchett, its vice president and director of operations for Southern California, and David Whitney of Lee & Associates in Newport Beach.

The campus is the largest in Orange County for the university, which lacked the room to expand in Fountain Valley. Terms of the seven-year lease were not disclosed, but industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that asking rates for the space in the two Bristol Street buildings is $2.10 per sf per month, full-service gross. The deal is believed to have been signed at a bit less than that, with some concessions.

The university’s new space will be in South Coast Executive Centre, which consists of five-story twin office buildings, totaling 161,000 sf, that were completed in 1987. With the signing of the University of Phoenix lease, the project is approximately 90% leased.

The agreement includes permission for two signs for the university. Boyd tells GlobeSt.com that the CB Richard Ellis team assisted the university in obtaining a zoning variance from the city of Costa Mesa for the signs, which are expected to be erected this summer on the top of the office buildings.

The new location offers the institution room to accommodate its growing student population, which consists mainly of working professionals who are earning a degree through nighttime and weekend courses, says Jennifer Cisna, University of Phoenix vice president and director.

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