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IRVINE, CA-A joint venture of Transwestern Investment Co. and Cigna Realty Investors plans to develop a 10-story, 231,178-sf class A office building at the 900,000-sf Irvine Center Towers campus. The JV expects to begin construction on the building in August and to complete the project in 2006. It will be one of the first high-rise office developments in the John Wayne Airport area in more than five years. The cost of the new tower was not disclosed, but industry sources estimate it is a $70-million project. Both the new tower, to be located at 18100 Von Karman Ave., and the existing office campus are owned by a joint venture of Cigna and Chicago-based Transwestern Investment Co. Transwestern Commercial Services, which has provided management and leasing for Irvine Center Towers for five years, will develop, manage and lease the new tower. During the time Transwestern has managed the campus, the four existing towers have reached 95% occupancy. The head of Transwestern Commercial Services’ operations here is George Garfield, western regional president. The existing 900,000 sf of office space is in four 11-story glass and granite office towers surrounded by landscaped common areas, palm-lined entryways and water features. Tenants include Epicor, Union Bank, Sprint, Pfizer and ConsumerInfo/Experian. Among the amenities at the development are Prego Ristorante and the adjacent full-service Irvine Marriott Hotel, on-site business services including Kinko’s, Starbucks, a gift shop, a deli, a car wash and a dry cleaner. Irvine Center Towers also employs a full-time concierge dedicated to providing service to office tenants. Each building features key card access, security and parking.John D. Carey, a VP with Cigna, says the project is targeted toward the “high level of leasing activity from major corporate users” in Orange County, where the vacancy rate has steadily declined and asking rates have edged upward in recent years. Tim McChesney, SVP with Transwestern Investment Co., commented that, “The Orange County Airport Area is ready for a new class A office building.”

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