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SANTA ANA, CA-Birtcher Anderson Realty LLC of Laguna Niguel has acquired a three-building, class A portfolio of office buildings totaling 378,698 sf from Santa Ana-based Caribou Industries, a development and property management firm.The portfolio is located in the Civic Center area of Downtown Santa Ana. The three buildings include the 145,863-sf, 10-story Park Tower at 200 W. Santa Ana Blvd., the 124,489-sf, four-story 801 Civic Center Drive building; and the 113,200-sf, seven-story Transit Tower at 405 West 5th St. The Park Tower building includes ground floor retail and is located across the street from the Old Orange County Courthouse. The building is 95% leased to several law firms, the County of Orange, the Small Business Administration and several other governmental agencies. The 801 Civic Center Drive building is 100% leased to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Regional Center Orange County, which provides services and resources to county residents with special needs. The Transit Tower building is 97% leased to the County of Orange.Bob Anderson, CEO of Birtcher Anderson Realty, says the company plans to work in with the Santa Ana Redevelopment Agency in the immediate future on entitlements to develop a building similar to 801 Civic Center that would be located directly across the street from Superior Court. This new office building would be developed where the 801 Civic Center parking lot now exists, and existing parking areas would be relocated behind the two buildings. The Downtown Santa Ana area is undergoing an economic revival, notes Arthur Birtcher, chairman of Birtcher Anderson Realty LLC. He says his firm plans to maintain a long-term involvement in and commitment to Santa Ana, which is re-establishing itself as Orange County’s urban core. Santa Ana is also one of the places the Birtcher organization got its start. The company’s history in Santa Ana dates back to 1912 when Arthur Birtcher’s grandfather, Justus Birtcher, moved to Santa Ana from Philadelphia and established himself as a custom home builder.Both Birtcher and Caribou were represented in the portfolio purchase by Gil Marrero, Al Pekarcik, Rob Mitchell and Dan Vittone of the Irvine office of Voit Commercial Brokerage. The financial team included the lender, RBS Greenwich Capital, an equity partner, and BayNorth Capital (formerly Charlesbank). Knightsbridge Realty Capital arranged the debt and equity.According to Marrero, the Civic Center area comprises approximately 1 million sf of high- to mid-rise class-A office space in about 10 buildings, with a vacancy rate of about 3%. The City’s Midtown section, which surrounds the Civic Center, consists of approximately 1.5 million sf and is also 3% vacant.

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