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Getting an affordable deal on office space at Newport Center’s newest and glitziest tower is unlikely, but if anyone was going to drive a bargain with Irvine Co. for space there, it would probably be a tenant representation brokerage.

Savills Studley, the largest commercial real estate brokerage in Orange County that focuses on representing tenants, said it signed a lease for a full floor at Irvine Co.’s 520 Newport Center Drive building.

The long-term deal is for the eighth floor of the 21story building next to Fashion Island that opened in 2014 and is now largely full.

Terms of the 17,675square-foot lease were undisclosed. Available space there had been listed at monthly rents of $5.60 per square foot, according to market tracker CoStar Group Inc.

The top floor has reportedly been leased for more than $7 per square foot, which is believed to be the highest rate of any office tower in OC.

Class A office space in OC is about $2.90 per square foot on average, although Newport Beach office rents are closer to $3.30 per square foot, according to area brokerage data.

The lease will allow Savills Studley to consolidate its two local offices at the Atrium tower complex in Irvine and the 610 Newport Center Drive tower, another Irvine Co. property, in Newport Beach.

The latter was the former home of Cresa Orange County, which Savills Studley acquired in February.

The combined firm has roughly 35 brokers and about 55 employees.

The Savills Studley’s OC office is now believed to be the largest tenant advisory group in the Western U.S. by headcount.

“The new office allows us to fully integrate our teams and create a connected environment that facilitates communication and cooperation,” said Royce Sharf, Savills Studley executive vice president and branch manager.

The firm’s newly combined OC office is projected to do over $750 million in deal volume this year, Pat Murphy, the former managing principal of Cresa Orange County, told the Business Journal at the time of the February deal.

“We are working closely with (Irvine-based) LPA architects and our internal workplace strategy team to design offices that engage employees, improve effectiveness and reflect our brand and culture,” said Murphy, who now serves as senior vice president and co-branch manager of the OC office with Sharf.

The space will feature a “modern aesthetic with an emphasis on simplicity and openness, including a series of strategically located collaborative hubs and flexible meeting areas,” the company said in a statement.

Savills Studley plans to move into the space in September.


Originally published on June 26, Orange County Business Journal

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