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Real Estate Company Casts Net for Tenants


An Irvine real estate company hopes to raise interest in hard-to-lease office space by taking advantage of the growing interest in cyberspace.

Charles Dunn Co., which manages the Mesa Verde Professional Center in Costa Mesa, recently placed a banner on the building that promises free Internet access and training to businesses that move into the center.

"It's solely an offer to make the phone ring," said David Shammas, a leasing broker at Charles Dunn.

The gimmick appears to be working. The center still has eight vacancies, the same number as when the banner went up May 1, Shammas said. But the sign has sparked a surge in calls about the property.

"We've gone from one call every other week before the banner went up to probably four calls per week," he said.

The company decided to try the Internet ploy after reading about the success an Anaheim apartment manager had luring tenants by offering free Net access earlier this year, Shammas said.

The promotion costs the owner of the property just $20 for each Internet account, but Shammas said the plan is not a complete success.

Part of the problem, he said, is that many callers want the Internet access but have no interest in leasing the property.

Greg Miller covers high technology for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and at

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