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IRVINE, CA-Verizon Wireless has signed a 10-year lease renewal with the Irvine Co. for 475,000 square feet of office space in five buildings at the telephone company’s 30-acre Southern California regional headquarters in the Irvine Spectrum. Irvine Co. and Irvine city officials call the deal a boon to the local economy because the wireless firm’s decision to remain in Irvine means that, not only will a huge amount of office space remain occupied, some 2,300 Verizon Wireless employees will remain there.

Val Wheeler, president of Irvine Co. Office Properties, points out that the phone service provider was “tempted with other offers and locales outside Orange County and California” before choosing to remain in Irvine. Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, called the Verizon Wireless lease renewal “fantastic news” for Orange County’s job market and economy in light of economic conditions and rising unemployment.

Completed in 2000, the Verizon Wireless campus at 15505 Sand Canyon Ave. serves as the Verizon Wireless base for a customer-service area that includes Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties. Verizon operates the nation’s most largest wireless voice and data network.

The completion of the Verizon Wireless Irvine headquarters in 2000 came one year after the Irvine Co. sold the land to a developer who constructed the campus for the phone service provider, which was known at the time as AirTouch Cellular. Irvine Company Office Properties bought the entire campus in 2005 and assumed day-to-day management, which was one of the factors cited in Verizon Wireless’ decision to renew its 10-year lease.

Tami Erwin, Verizon Wireless West Area president, cited other factors in the lease renewal as well, including the strong talent pool in Irvine and a host of amenities in and near the Irvine Spectrum including homes and apartments, stores and restaurants, and recreation. The Spectrum is home to other major corporate tenants as well, including Blizzard Entertainment, Toshiba America, Fluor Corp., UBS, Billabong and Taco Bell, among others.

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