EMMES and Oaktree Reimagine a New Workplace Reality
Through renovations, creative strategies and world-class amenities, EMMES has generated positive leasing momentum at Centerview despite a slow return-to-work climate. (Photo: Business Wire)
December 07, 2022 03:01 AM Eastern Standard Time
Creative Strategies, Amenities and Curated Restaurant Concepts Help Centerview Tenants Entice Employees Back to the Office
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Since the pandemic has flipped traditional commercial real estate paradigms, forward-thinking property owners such as EMMES Realty Services of California LLC (“EMMES”) and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”) have adapted to the evolving hybrid/work anywhere era through creative strategies and amenities.
“It’s no secret that employers are looking for ways to attract employees back to the office, and we’ve heard from tenants that the amenities, conveniences, and hands-on management we’ve implemented at Centerview have helped their efforts.”
While office use across major metropolitan areas continues to increase, it remains around half of what it was compared to pre-pandemic levels. And as workplaces continue to transform into a mixture of home and office, businesses are seeking incentives to bring their employees back into the office. Centerview at Irvine Concourse has attracted new businesses with its recently renovated common areas, exterior plaza, and a plethora of amenities. The adjacent Eighteen Main, a recently redeveloped restaurant pad with four restaurants totaling 17,000 square feet of premier space, is also creating a buzz and attracting foot traffic from tenants and the community at large.
The recent openings of The Goldfinch, KIT Coffee, SOL Mexican Cocina, and Izakaya Osen, coupled with the impending openings of Maldon’s Bistro (January 2023) and The Trough Sandwich Kitchen (early 2023) have generated positive leasing momentum at Centerview, along with 80,000 square feet of office leasing completed year-to-date. Izakaya Osen’s opening this month marked the fifth new restaurant to open at the property since 2020.
“EMMES is always looking for new, innovative ways to activate Centerview and create a place where people look forward to working in the office, and we’re happy to see this happening,” said Justin Nguyen, vice president of asset management for EMMES. “It’s no secret that employers are looking for ways to attract employees back to the office, and we’ve heard from tenants that the amenities, conveniences, and hands-on management we’ve implemented at Centerview have helped their efforts.”
EMMES has implemented several strategies and programs for tenants, such as enhancing amenities, hosting tenant events, including a weekly Farmers Market, and partnering with onsite restaurants for preview openings and food giveaways. In October, EMMES reported a 70% increase in office parking utilization at Centerview since the beginning of 2022.
According to a recent Allen Matkins report, “tenants are paying more attention to the spaces they inhabit, including where they are located and how they can use them to attract and retain talent. They’re looking for ways to encourage workers to return to the office by providing them with amenities, technology, and workspaces they don’t have available at home. When evaluating buildings, they consider factors like walkability, bandwidth capabilities, nearby restaurants, and more.”
One company that created unique spaces to engage fresh talent and next-generation clients is Allen Matkins, a premier California-based law firm focusing on real estate, litigation, labor, tax, and business law. The firm recently moved into its new 51,000-square-foot office at Centerview, which includes a two-story grand atrium style lobby with an outdoor balcony for fresh air.
“We are looking to revitalize the typical law firm office feel and create an environment that you want to hang around in and not feel confined to an office,” said Brad Nielsen, partner at Allen Matkins. “We toured a lot of buildings in the Orange County area and felt Centerview offered the best of all worlds. It is close enough to the airport that clients and partners from our other offices would benefit from the ease of access and location. There are a lot of amenities within walking distance, including the Equinox gym, hotels and the investment in new restaurants, ranging from takeaway to white tablecloth. Centerview has a ‘little city’ feel that most other office projects do not have.”
EMMES has also cooked up a recipe for success for restaurant owners.
“We have seen the fruits of creating dining destinations where all restaurants thrive and we are experiencing the seeds of that ethos at Centerview,” said Todd Miller, partner, The 908 Restaurant/Goldfinch. “There is a built-in guest base with the business tenants, nearby hotels, and continuous addition of homes and apartments locally. We used to think of the Airport Area as mostly a business district, but the residential areas have flourished in recent years. There is also high visibility being on Main Street and we have ample parking to support our guest base. People will drive 10 to 15 minutes in Irvine if you create an enticing dining destination and that is already happening at Eighteen Main.”
Since acquiring Centerview in 2017, EMMES has been repositioning the award-winning, LEED Platinum property as a premier destination, not just for business professionals but also for surrounding communities. Following a lobby and common area renovation, EMMES completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Centerview plaza in 2021, which includes a mix of soft seating, accent furniture and a variety of shade control, including retractable umbrellas and fixed shade elements. The property also has 24 Tesla Superchargers and 24 Level 2 chargers, with plans to add more.
EMMES Realty Services of California, LLC is a member of The EMMES Group of Companies. Founded in 1992, with offices in New York and California, The EMMES Group of Companies and its affiliates are engaged in principal real estate investments, funds management and real estate services. For more information, visit www.emmesco.com.
Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $163 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2022. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in credit, private equity, real assets and listed equities. The firm has over 1,050 employees and offices in 20 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at http://www.oaktreecapital.com/.