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SANTA ANA, CA-WCB Properties has signed new tenants and expansions that have boosted occupancy to 96% from its previous 82% in the company’s repositioning of the 321,000-sf Xerox Centre office tower. WCB, which bought the property from locally based Triple Net Properties in January for $77.5 million, has signed new tenants as well as renewals and expansions at the 15-story tower at 1851 E. First St.

Terry Thompson, VP of acquisitions for WCB Properties, says that the repositioning campaign has returned the Xerox Centre to the “best of class” category that it occupied in the 1980s. Xerox built the office tower in 1989 as its Southern California regional headquarters and sold it in the late 1990s.

“We recognized an enormous opportunity to add value to a well-built property located in an area experiencing significant redevelopment,” Thompson comments. He says that rents now have increased to $2.60 per sf per month at the building, compared with $2.25 when WCB bought it.

New tenants at Xerox Centre include Kaiser Permanente, Southern California’s largest HMO, which leased 16,853 sf in a 10-year agreement, and law firm Green & Hall, which will occupy 18,000 sf for at least eight years.

With a move to a 21,500-sf suite, Access Office renewed and expanded its lease commitment for an additional eight years. Another tenant, First Funding Mortgage, moved into a 5,000-sf office space on the ground floor that had been vacant for more than five years.

WCB’s repositioning included improved signage, installation of TV monitors providing news and sports coverage in building elevators, lobby and plaza area enhancements, newly painted equipment in the eight-story parking structure and improved landscaping. WCB worked with a PM Realty Group property management team headed by Therese Gray and a CBRE leasing team composed of Mark Friend, Simon Dillon and Justin Hill to implement the repositioning.

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