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New High-Rise Buildings in Fashion IslandI was fortunate enough to recently attend a building tour organized by the AIA-Orange County of the 650 Newport Center Drive Office Tower. This is a 20-Story Class-A office building designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners for the Irvine Company Office Properties, located at Newport Center in Newport Beach, CA.

The tour was presented by The Irvine Company’s Vice President of Architecture, Brad Neal, and Jason Knudson, Director of Development. Also in attendance and available for Q & A was Architect Michael W. Bischoff partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Architects LLP, a leader in sustainable design practices.High-rise Buildings in Orange County

The tour showcased the nearly finished Office Tower which is expected to receive Silver Certification under the LEED 2009 Core & Shell program.   The event focused on urban design, sustainable strategies employed, as well as design considerations and general lessons-learned during the design and construction process.

This landmark 380,000-square-foot building will be the first high-rise office building to be constructed in Fashion Island in 25 years at a cost exceeding $60 million to build.  Pimco has agreed to lease the building from the Irvine Company and the move will give the firm about twice the space it has today to accommodate its growing work force.

Sunset - Fashion IslandAn additional Office Tower will be built at 520 Newport Center Drive, adjacent to the Irvine Company office. Construction has already begun on the parking structure located on Nicolas Drive.

The tour concluded on the 20th floor just as the sun was setting offering magnificent panoramic views atop the tallest building in Fashion Island.

This is yet another good sign that the recession is ending in the great O.C.