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Work Started on Costa Mesa Center : 14-Acre South Coast Complex to Contain Office Buildings, Hotel

April 21, 1985

Synergism isn't a word that's thrown around much in land-development circles but it is used emphatically and effectively by the developers of the South Coast Corporate Center in Costa Mesa.

The center, on 14 acres at the intersection of Bristol St. and Paularino Ave. directly across the San Diego Freeway from the existing South Coast Plaza and Town Center, will be a $120-million office and hotel complex when completed.

Construction has begun on the first phase, consisting of a six-story, 130,000-square-foot building and a free-standing, 5,000-square-foot building for a financial institution, with first occupancies scheduled for next March.

Synergism was brought up by Gregory L. Butcher; he and James M. Heitbrink are principals of California Pacific Properties, a company that includes as a partner the firm of C. J. Segerstrom & Co. South Coast Corporate Center is being developed by a joint venture of California Pacific Properties and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

The word refers to an interaction among two or more entities in which their simultaneous action has a greater total effect than the sum of their individual actions.

"The synergism of an office complex and a first-class hotel has been repeatedly demonstrated in Southern California," Butcher said, citing as examples Century City and the nearby Westin-South Coast Town Center complex. "When properly planned, the two properties seem to naturally augment one another.

"Office building tenants gain the benefit of a selection of restaurants, nearby conference and meeting spaces, and convenient hotel rooms for business visitors. The hotel gains a neighbor who's quiet at night and on the weekends.

"Since both building complexes are totally people-oriented, they incorporate excellent standards of design and planning, landscaping and amenities, and one complements the other."

There will be three six-story office buildings in South Coast Corporate Center as well as the free-standing financial building, for a total of 395,000 square feet. They were designed by Herbert Nadel AIA & Partners of Los Angeles. Saffell & McAdam of Irvine is the general contractor, and the landscaping will follow a design developed by a joint venture of Fong & Associates and Hogan Roy Partners, both of Costa Mesa.

The first phase now under construction will have surface parking; Phase 2 will include a parking structure.

Staff members of Frost Trinen Partners, the exclusive leasing agent, said the free-standing building will occupy the only remaining such site in the area.

The design will incorporate many corner office suites and the sixth floor of each building will have balconies. Between the three buildings will be a stone-paved courtyard focusing on a waterscape.

"Automobiles can drive through the court," the developers said, "but it is primarily for pedestrian use and to be a center for outdoor relaxation for office tenants."

Construction is also under way on the 500-room Red Lion Inn, designed by Peter A. Lendrum & Associates of Phoenix, with a vaulted, glass-roofed atrium accommodating four glass-walled observation elevators. The Vancouver, Wash.-based Red Lion chain owns and operates 56 inns and hotels in eight western states but this will be its first in Orange County.

The hotel will have 13 meeting rooms, including a 12,400-square-foot ballroom, for a total of more than 23,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space. Public facilities will include a beauty salon, gift shop, gourmet dining room, coffee garden, live-entertainment lounge and Mexican restaurant, as well as an outdoor swimming pool with terrace sun deck and spa and an exercise room with sauna.

Earlier, California Pacific Properties introduced Lake Center to the South Coast Metro Region; it is a 750,000-square-foot, $90-million office park that is soon to be expanded. Heitbrink and Butcher, along with Segerstrom, will co-develop a new, 680,000-square-foot shopping mall west of Bear Street in Costa Mesa, adjacent to South Coast Plaza.

"South Coast Corporate Center is very much in keeping with the eclectic, mixed-use approach found through the South Coast Metro," Butcher said. "Business offices are side by side with retail centers; research-and-development complexes coexist comfortably with hotels and restaurants, and entertainment--movies, theaters, sports clubs--is right there too.

"It's a unique blending that probably doesn't exist in quite the same way anywhere else in the country."

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