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IRVINE, CA-A joint venture of Hines and Crescent Real Estate Equities that is developing a new 266,000-sf class A office building at 2211 Michelson Dr. has signed Pathway Capital Management as the first tenant in the new office tower. Pathway, which creates and manages specialized private equity funds for institutional investors worldwide, has signed for 37,250 sf in a long-term deal at the new building, which is scheduled to be completed in the spring.

According to Doug Holte, western regional partner and director of Hines’ Orange County and San Diego operations, Pathway will be relocating and expanding to 2211 Michelson in the fall of this year from its current offices at 5 Park Plaza in Irvine. The private equity fund manager will occupy the entire ninth floor and a portion of the eighth floor of the 12-story tower.

The 2211 Michelson building, designed by Paul Danna of DMJM’s Los Angeles office, will be the first in California to be pre-certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Core and Shell program, according to the developers. The LEED-CS program is sponsored by the US Green Building Council and the LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard.

According to David Whitney of Lee & Associates, one of the brokers in the Pathway transaction, office space users are starting to pay attention to the LEED certifications of buildings. “Office users are just now beginning to recognize the advantages,” he says, explaining that the attractions for tenants include energy cost savings and higher-performance work spaces.

Whitney and Robert Thagard of Orion Property Partners represented the building ownership in the lease with Pathway. Pathway was represented by Howard Floom of CB Richard Ellis. Terms of the lease were not disclosed, but asking rates for class A space in the airport submarket were about $3 per sf per month at the end of 2006.

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