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Exclusive Look: Irvine Co’s Santa Clara Square®
Allison Nagel
08 March 2016

Our latest Silicon Valley event took place on the sixth floor of Irvine Co’s newest office building in Santa Clara Square®, and Bisnow got an exclusive look around.

From the unfinished sixth floor, it’s easy to look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows that span all four sides of the building and overlook other parts of the development. While on its face Santa Clara Square® is a mixed-use development, Irvine Co regional SVP Hanns Lee tells us it’s much more than that.

“To call this a mixed-use project is an understatement,” he said. “It’s really a complete community.”

We chatted with Hanns and regional VP Todd Hedrick about the project, which sits on 90 acres and will have 1.7M SF of office, 160k SF of retail and 1,800 apartment units. Phase 1 was completed earlier this year and includes 600k SF of office.

To date, Irvine Co has fully leased two of the office buildings to Ericsson (a six-story and an eight-story building, each with 32k SF floor plates) and is actively marketing the third building, where we hosted the event. Interest has been good, from single-floor tenants to multiple floors to the entire building, Todd tells us. He expects a tenant could be announced in the next 90 days.

The response to those buildings has been so positive, it gave the company confidence to move forward on the next office buildings in the development (which will have 36k SF floor plates).

Two of the five buildings in the office Phase 2 are going up now and set for completion between October of this year and summer 2017, Todd says. At completion, the master planned development will have eight office buildings.

Looking into the courtyard, there are volleyball and bocce ball courts and an outdoor workspace where workers can sit shaded from the sun (or the rain) with glass windscreens and wireless connectivity to make it a location you could work in for hours. Most people talk about seating and shade, but outdoor spots have to be incorporated into the workplace, Hanns says. Some similar amenities can be found at Irvine Co’s Spectrum Center in Orange County.

Other Phase 1 amenities include a fitness center in one building and an on-site café in another. In Phase 2, there will be more outdoor workspace and a shared café and fitness center called The Commons. Such amenities are critical for recruiting and retaining the talent needed for the Valley’s growth, Todd says. Hanns says having those amenities already in place means tenants don’t have to add the cost of those to their own balance sheets.

Opposite the office buildings is the retail district, which will be anchored by a 50k SF flagship Whole Foods Market opening in July. Nearby will be four higher-quality restaurants, casual dining and quick service. Reported restaurants and retailers (though not all confirmed) include Il Fornaio, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery and Sur La Table.

The apartments will be connected to the retail component by a pedestrian causeway with 40k SF ground-floor retail. Hanns expects the apartments will rent out quickly with the area’s housing shortage. The apartments will have amenities similar to, but separate from, the offices.

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