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IRVINE, CA-Tenants have signed seven office leases totaling nearly 67,000 square feet in a series of deals that reflect both the availability of sublease space in the current market and the potential for tenants to move up to higher-quality space because of lower office rents. A not-for-profit foundation signed the largest of the five deals in a 29,000-square-foot commitment in Irvine, while the other tenants included a dental practice, a computer gaming company, an automotive marketing firm, a commercial real estate brokerage firm and a law firm.

The not-for-profit is SouthCoast Foundation, which signed a 10-year lease for 29,000 square feet at 2727 Campus Dr. in the largest of the five transactions. The space will house the church, pre-school and counseling/recovery center for the foundation, which coordinates various community-based activities and programs throughout Southern California.

SouthCoast was represented by Joe Bevan, a vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle. The landlord, Greenlaw Partners, was represented by Brian Garbutt of Lee & Associates.

In the second-largest of the deals, Community Dental Services, dba SmileCare, extended its sublease with MSC Software for a 23,113-square-foot office at 2 MacArthur Place in Santa Ana. The full-floor sublease was extended for approximately five years and is valued at roughly $2.5 million, according to Studley, which represented the family dentistry firm.

The Studley team included senior vice president Bruce Schuman and assistant director Wendy Han. Han says that after analyzing SmileCare’s needs and surveying numerous relocation alternatives, Studley and the client determined the best option was for SmileCare to remain at its current location.

Specific terms were not disclosed, but Han says the new sublease takes advantage of the softening market conditions and provides “very favorable” terms. MSC Software was represented by Newmark Knight Frank.

The other three deals included approximately 14,500 square feet of leases in Irvine and Newport Beach that CB Richard Ellis negotiated on behalf of the tenants in buildings owned by the Irvine Co., according to Cameran Lindee in CBRE’s Anaheim office, who represented the tenants in all three. In two separate transactions in the Irvine Spectrum submarket, Assured Performance sublet approximately 7,000 square feet.

Assured, an automotive marketing firm, was able to transition from industrial space into class A office space by taking advantage of sublease deals, Lindee points out. Assured sublet 3,581 square feet from Heineken USA at 8105 Irvine Center Dr. for 16 months, and 3,354 square feet from Manufacturers and Traders Bank at 15635 Alton Ave. for a term of 15 months.

Also in Irvine, computer gaming company Javaground USA Inc. renewed 4,584 square feet of space for an additional 24 months at 20 Fairbanks. In the sixth deal, in what is described as a “flight to quality,” law firm Blakeley and Blakeley is relocating to 4685 MacArthur Court in Newport Beach. The company took 3,010 square feet for three years.

Lindee calls the Blakeley and Blakeley lease “a great example of how the current market environment is creating opportunities for tenants that weren’t available in the past few years as the market was booming.” Lindee, who represented Blakeley and Blakeley along with CBRE’s David Ellis, adds, “At a lateral cost, we were able to help this firm relocate to a significantly higher image building than their previous space.”

The seventh deal was a long-term lease and relocation from Lake Shore Towers at 18101 Von Karman Ave. in Irvine into approximately 3,600 square feet at the Plaza Tower at 600 Anton Blvd. in Cost Mesa by brokerage firm UGL Equis. UGL Equis has moved its commercial brokerage and office staff into the 17th floor of the building.

UGL Equis vice presidents Drew Netherton and Justin Hodgdon oversaw the relocation from Irvine.

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