July 19, 2016
Trammell Crow is bringing Southern California’s largest spec development, The Boardwalk, to Irvine, CA. The 7.5-acre, 545,000 SF of Class A office and 5,000 SF of retail is a one-of-a-kind development that will redefine the Irvine Business Complex.
Trammell Crow’s Senior Managing Director Tom Bak will take the stage at Connect Orange County on July 28. In anticipation, Connect Media’s Daniella Soloway caught up with Mr. Bak to discuss the reasoning behind choosing OC for the project.
Q. What attracted Trammell Crow to OC to make such a large investment for The Boardwalk?
A. Orange County has transformed over the past cycle, experiencing a diversification of active industries, consistent job growth of approximately 3% each year, and over 40% of the positive net absorption across all Southern California office markets. Specifically, this has led to consistent absorption of the Class A product and large blocks of space. While these alone are great fundamentals for development, we have the added benefit of a market that has seen minimal speculative product. We view this as the optimal time to deliver a best-in-class project that offers large blocks of space with a cutting edge look and feel that caters to top tier tenants.
Q. What features about The Boardwalk really sets apart the site most in comparison to other projects in the region?
A. The Boardwalk has been designed from the inside out to integrate a number of innovative elements that offer our clients the ability to brand or differentiate their organization. The Orange County office market consists primarily of 20,000 to 22,000 SF floor plates. However, as we have monitored the development of class A office projects in other markets and some of the most successful local projects, we have seen the emergence and success of a larger, more efficient 30,000 SF floorplate. By integrating this major design feature and including the ability to connect the two office towers with bridges, we can provide up to 64,000 SF of space on a single floor. This will provide our tenants with the ability to not only program their space more efficiently, but also create better connectivity and collaboration among their employees.
Some of the other major elements we have focused upon are sustainability, a comprehensive amenity package, and a high level of service. In addition to offering these elements in a first generation design, we are also integrating a full service concierge, delivering the feel of hospitality similar to that of a high-end resort. An organization’s office environment helps express its culture, so improving overall quality of life is imperative to organizations that are competing to attract and retain top talent. We are looking to deliver an all-around better workplace experience.
Q. As the largest speculative project in Southern California, is there a certain type of tenant you foresee being attracted to such features?
A. We believe these project elements give us the opportunity to capture tenants in some of Orange County’s most active sectors including, Technology, Healthcare, Biomed/Medical Device, Financial Services, Law, and Corporate Headquarters.
In order to share our vision, we have created unique marketing materials using a non-real estate focused advertising agency. The unconventional marketing campaign has helped to generate substantial interest from brokers and users from a variety of industries, with requirements ranging from a couple thousand square feet to the entire project. The response to the innovative design, large floor plate functionality and the best location in the OC has been overwhelmingly positive.