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Unocal to Move 700 Workers, Division to Costa Mesa : Relocation: 76 Products Co. is expected to sign 10-year lease. It will be one of county's largest businesses, with $2.5 billion in annual sales.

June 30, 1995|DEBORA VRANA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

COSTA MESA — Oil giant Unocal Corp. is expected to sign a lease today for a 12-story Costa Mesa building where it will move 700 employees and the headquarters of a key division.

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After several months of negotiations, the Los Angeles company's marketing and refining arm, 76 Products Co. will sign a 10-year lease for the Bank of America building at 555 Anton Blvd., near South Coast Plaza.

"We wanted space and a safe neighborhood as well as convenient freeway and airport access," said Lawrence M. Higby, president of 76 Products. "Costa Mesa provided all of those things."

Higby said voter rejection of a sales tax increase Tuesday did not affect 76 Products Co.'s decision to move, and he didn't expect the county's fiscal woes to hurt the company's ability to attract quality workers. Unocal had supported Measure R, the half-cent tax increase.

"We're still convinced the long-term prospects for Orange County are strong. We plan to be here for a long time," Higby said.

The move, expected to start by the end of the year and be completed by February, will make the Unocal subsidiary one of the county's 10 largest businesses with annual sales of $2.5 billion.

About 350 of the Unocal workers will transfer from offices in Brea and the other 350 will leave offices in downtown Los Angeles, Anaheim and the City of Industry.

Details of the lease agreement, negotiated by Cushman Realty Corp. of Los Angeles, were not disclosed.

The current tenant, Bank of America, plans to transfer 150 employees to Los Angeles and 450 employees to other Orange County locations when it moves out of the 230,000-square-foot building later this year.

The move is part of a larger Unocal relocation. The company said this month it is negotiating to lease a new corporate headquarters in El Segundo. If the deal goes through, Unocal will leave its longtime headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

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