The Irvine Company to Buy San Diego Office Portfolio from Blackstone Group Affiliate

The Irvine Company said today it has reached an agreement to purchase the San Diego portfolio of high quality office properties recently acquired by an affiliate of The Blackstone Group from Equity Office Properties.

The portfolio includes 17 office buildings and totals 2.1 million square feet. It is 89 percent occupied. Fifteen of the office buildings are in the University Town Center area of La Jolla, one is in Del Mar and one is in Mission Valley.

The portfolio includes The Plaza at La Jolla Village, which is widely considered the premier complex of office properties in UTC. The six-building group is situated on 17 acres and includes three towers and three garden-style office buildings, clad in granite and situated on a hill overlooking La Jolla Village Drive and the UTC shopping center. The towers include the Northern Trust Tower, Pacifica Tower and Smith Barney Tower.

The transaction is expected to close in the next month or two, at which time The Irvine Company will assume management and leasing of the properties.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

“We believe in San Diego’s economic future, and this is another long-term investment by our company in a thriving area where we have built and owned office properties for more than 25 years,” said Val Wheeler, president, The Irvine Company Office Properties.

“University Town Center is economically vibrant, with an expanding business base and an appeal enhanced by its proximity to the University of California, San Diego. We look forward to completing the acquisition of these office buildings, and operating them to the highest quality standards in the region.”

The Newport Beach-based Irvine Company is one of the nation’s premier community master planners and real estate investment companies, and has operated continuously for 142 years. The privately held company is known internationally for the balanced master planned communities it continues to create on The Irvine Ranch in central Orange County. The company also is known for its portfolio of high-quality investment properties in California – which includes major office buildings, hotels, apartment communities, marinas and retail centers – in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, and Northern California.

More than two decades after making its first acquisition in San Diego, The Irvine Company now owns six large apartment communities and some of downtown San Diego’s premier high-rise office buildings, including One America Plaza, Symphony Towers, Wells Fargo Plaza, 225 Broadway, 101 West Broadway and 501 West Broadway. It also owns mid-rise and campus-style office properties in the La Jolla and Sorrento Mesa areas.

As a further investment commitment to San Diego, The Irvine Company is in the planning and architectural design phase for a new 34-story, 680,000 square foot marble office tower downtown at the corner of Pacific Highway and Broadway. Start of construction is expected in mid-2008.