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Irvine Company Invests In The ‘Heart’ Of Newport Beach

Irvine Company today announced the completion of several significant year-long reinvestment programs in Newport Center, the urban “heart” of Newport Beach, and announced several exciting new investments, including the acquisition of Pacific Financial Center. Since the original master plan in 1960, Newport Center was always intended to be the hub for commercial, retail, civic and social life in Newport Beach, providing the city with a sustainable and healthy heart beat. Today’s announcements ensure Newport Center will remain a thriving center for mixed-used activities.

Fashion Island Reinvestment

Fashion Island is completing its $100 million reinvestment that has transformed the center’s buildings and outdoor spaces with dramatic new architecture and common area amenities, new landscape and water fountains and expanded parking and retail space. The extensive renovations underscore the Irvine Company’s ongoing commitment to reinvestment and to keep its retail centers alive and vibrant. As part of the reinvestment, Fashion Island added nearly 20 new stores and restaurants, from a full-line Nordstrom department store and exclusive boutiques, to restaurants Rustica and True Food Kitchen. The renovation and the new stores and restaurants have been embraced by locals and visitors alike, and the Company is confident that Fashion Island will continue its 43-year reign as one of the nation’s most appealing outdoor regional shopping centers.

“We are pleased to bring Newport Beach residents and visitors an enhanced shopping experience and a truly spectacular environment in time for the busy holiday shopping season,” said Keith Eyrich, president of Irvine Company Retail Properties, which owns Fashion Island. “We look forward to more new store openings beginning in spring 2011.”

Irvine Company also announced Phase II of the Fashion Island renovation, a major redevelopment of its seven-screen Island Cinemas, which will bring to Fashion Island an upscale, state-of-the-art theater complex offering a premier movie-going experience. The theater complex will have a spacious lobby with a classic look that reflects Fashion Island’s Italianate architecture, stadium seating in all auditoriums, larger, more comfortable seats and wider aisles with generous legroom. The theater complex will close January 12, 2011 and re-open for the Christmas 2011 movie season.

“Given the success of the first phase of reinvestment in Fashion Island, we are pleased to announce the theater renovation, which we believe will create a first class movie-going experience for Fashion Island guests,” said Eyrich.

Commercial Office Reinvestment

Irvine Company Office Properties announced the completion of a nearly $10 million comprehensive modernization of its office properties around Newport Center, including the restoration of buildings on the 400 and 500 blocks of Newport Center Drive, as well as the Company’s headquarter building at 550 Newport Center Drive.

“Consistent with the Irvine Company’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 Holte, president of Irvine Company Office Properties.

Irvine Company Office Properties also announced further investment in Newport Center through the acquisition of Pacific Financial Plaza, a 279,000 square foot property comprising two 7-story office buildings and one, 2-story mixed-use building. Pacific Financial Plaza is located in the heart of Newport Center and includes the 800 block of Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach, Calif. Designed by Gin Wong Associates and developed by Pacific Mutual, the Pacific Financial Plaza has undergone various reinvestment projects. The project boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Newport Harbor and features high-quality, efficient and well-maintained buildings located within immediate proximity to the coast and directly adjacent to Island Hotel and the many restaurants, shopping and other amenities of Fashion Island.

This transaction represents an enhancement of the company’s existing office and retail portfolio in one of Orange County’s most distinguished Class-A office sub-markets and among the finest in California. The property is leased by two primary tenants, bond fund manager Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO) and law firm Irell & Manella LLP.

“Pacific Financial Plaza is one of the most desirable office projects of scale in Newport Center and differentiates itself with its Pacific Ocean and harbor views, as well as its proximity to the coast,” said Holte. “The nearby 5-Star Island Hotel and Fashion Island retail center, combined with Irvine Company Office Properties’ industry-leading customer service, provide the most desirable office environment for leading Southern California companies.”

“Consistent with our long-range master-planning philosophy, we will continue to explore future office expansion by utilizing the office building entitlement from the City of Newport Beach through and the Newport Beach General Plan,” said Holte. “We are undergoing the evaluation of several possible alternatives that enhance North Newport Center as a premier business environment, while we proceed with the voluntary seismic retrofitting of the 630 Newport Center Drive parking garage.”

Irvine Company’s investments in Newport Center run parallel to the civic development and infrastructure improvement being led by the City of Newport Beach, including the building of a new City Hall and Civic Center, parkland expansion, Central Library renovation and road widening, as well as additional planned circulation improvements.

About Irvine Company

Founded in 1864, Irvine Company is an internationally renowned real estate development company known for its award-winning master-planned communities, its vast portfolio of high-quality investment properties, and its leadership in conservation and natural resource management. The growing real estate portfolio encompasses office, apartment, retail and resort holdings located throughout California’s premier markets, including assets in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties, and holdings in Northern California. As a steward of some of America’s most beautiful and scientifically important open space and parklands, the company has donated to Orange County more than half of the historic 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch in Orange County — 50,000 acres — to permanently preserve these lands. The U.S. Department of Interior and the State of California have designated these parklands as “Natural Landmarks,” one of the most prestigious land preservation designations. The privately held, diversified company traces its roots to the 1860s with the formation of The Irvine Ranch® from Mexican and Spanish land grants.