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IRVINE, CA-Los Angeles-based office REIT Maguire Properties Inc. and San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC have closed on the previously announced sale of the REIT’s 607,000-sf Main Plaza office complex to Shorenstein. According to a recent public filing by Maguire, “The purchase price is approximately $211 million and includes Shorenstein’s assumption of the $160.7-million mortgage loan on the property and the transfer to Shorenstein of approximately $10 million of restricted leasing reserves.”

The disposition is part of Maguire’s previously announced plan to sell certain Orange County properties and use a portion of the net proceeds from the sales to reduce the company’s debt and for general corporate purposes. Douglas Shorenstein, chairman and CEO of Shorenstein Properties LLC, comments that, “While the Greater Orange County market is currently experiencing a challenging near-term leasing market, we like the long-term fundamentals of this Airport area submarket because of its excellent amenities and access to a highly skilled work force.”

Main Plaza is a Class A office complex near the John Wayne Airport that features two 12-story office buildings and two freestanding buildings that make up the roughly 607,000 sf of the complex. Occupancy is approximately 70%, with major tenants including Lawyers Title Insurance, Balboa Capital Corp., the architectural firm Greenberg Farrow, and Stewart Title Co.

Shorenstein, in a statement regarding the deal, notes that, “The buildings were well maintained by the prior owner but had been recently hit by declining occupancy levels as a result of the downturn in the residential home building and mortgage sectors.” Recent market statistics show that the mortgage meltdown has produced negative net absorption of more than 1.1-million-sf thus far this year in Orange County, a market that was one of the strongest in the nation before the subprime lending market collapse.

Shorenstein Properties made the purchase on behalf of its ninth investment fund, Shorenstein Realty Investors Nine LP, a private commingled fund of more than $2 billion that it formed in the spring of 2007. The fund’s other equity ownership interests include properties in New York, Houston, and South San Francisco as well as more than $650 million in mezzanine loan investments.

The sale of Main Plaza follows plans laid out in June, a month after Nelson Rising took the helm of Maguire as the REIT’s president and CEO, to reduce debt, eliminate debt service obligations and increase FFO by disposing of certain of its assets in Orange County. The company has brought on Eastdil Secured to market Park Place, a 105-acre real estate campus expected to be fully developed over the next five to seven years, which is the biggest of the Orange County properties Maguire plans to sell. Eastdil was also the broker on the Main Plaza sale.

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