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IRVINE, CA-The Bixby Land Co. has signed for 10,500 sf of headquarters space at the newly completed 2211 Michelson Dr. office tower, becoming the second firm recently to choose the 266,000-sf building as its headquarters. The class A project is a joint venture development of Hines and Crescent Real Estate Equities.

Doug Holte, western regional partner and director of Hines’ Orange County and San Diego operations, notes that the development team recently completed construction of the 12-story 2211 Michelson tower and its adjoining parking structure. Besides Bixby Land Co., the roster of inaugural tenants also includes Pathway Capital Management and Wachovia Corp.

Newport Beach-based Bixby, a private investment and development REIT that recently signed a deal to acquire 11 Orange County office buildings and a development site from Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties for $345 million, is scheduled to move into 2211 Michelson this summer. The firm is led by CEO Bill Halford, a fifth-generation member of the founding Bixby family who has focused on further expanding the company’s operations through new development and investment.

Halford comments that the sustainable design of 2211 Michelson was one of the factors in his company’s decision to move its headquarters to the new Irvine building. The 2211 project was the first building pre-certified by the US Green Building Council in California for its LEED-CS (core and shell) designation. Bixby Land Co. was represented by Jay Carnahan, founding principal of Orion Property Partners, in the lease.

The Bixby Land Co. lease follows a recent commitment by Wachovia Corp. to lease 25,400 sf of regional headquarters space at 2211 Michelson. Wachovia will rent the entire second floor of the 266,000-sf office tower, plus a ground floor retail banking location and landmark signage.

Pathway Capital Management, a private equity fund manager, signed for 37,250 sf in a long-term deal for the entire ninth floor and a portion of the eighth floor of the building. Terms of the leases at the new office tower 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.

The 2211 Michelson project is located within the original Koll Center Irvine Southwest Campus east of John Wayne Airport. It is part of a 75-acre extended campus that includes its neighbors in Von Karman Towers, Lakeshore Towers and the Irvine Towers.

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