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Irvine Co. revamps Fashion Island movie theater

The real estate firm's office properties division also acquired Pacific Financial Plaza in Newport Beach.

By Kristen SchottPublished: December 15, 2010 10:35 AM

The Irvine Company is moving forward with the second phase of its Fashion Island renovation, with a major redevelopment of its seven-screen Island Cinemas. But that's not all: The company's office properties division also has acquired the Pacific Financial Plaza in Newport Beach.

The first phase of renovations at the 43-year-old retail destination totaled $100 million and included, among other updates, the addition of nearly 20 new stores and eateries, new landscaping and water fountains, and expanded parking and retail space.

The next segment of the revamp will focus on transforming the theater into an upscale venue complete with a lobby designed to reflect the retail center's Italian-style architecture. Updates include adding stadium seating in all auditoriums and wider aisles. The theater will close Jan. 12 and reopen by the 2011 holiday season, according to the Irvine Co.

The revamped theater is expected to create a "first-class movie-going experience for Fashion Island guests," said Keith Eyrich, president of Irvine Co. Retail Properties.

In addition, the Irvine Co. Office Properties has acquired Pacific Financial Plaza, a 279,000-square-foot property that includes two, seven-story office buildings and one, two-story mixed-use facility. The complex has two primary tenants: Pacific Investment Management Co. and the law firm of Irell & Manella LLP.

The acquisition comes on the heels of the company's nearly $10 million modernization of its office properties in the Newport Center area, including the restoration of the real estate firm's headquarters building.

"Consistent with the Irvine Co.'s philosophy as a permanent owner and comprehensive master-planner, and to improve the quality of the office customer experience, we are committed to ensuring that our properties meet the highest quality standards in our industry," said Doug Hole, president of the office properties division.

The new transaction is expected to enhance the real estate firm's existing office and retail portfolio. Holte called the Pacific Financial Plaza one of the most desirable office projects in the Newport Center, and he said it falls in line with the company's future plans in the area.

“Consistent with our long-range master-planning philosophy, we will continue to explore future office expansion,” said Holte. “We are undergoing the evaluation of several possible alternatives that enhance North Newport Center as a premier business environment."

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