Bixby Land Co. may have scored the biggest lease of the year in its deal with Karma Automotive. The automaker will shift its Costa Mesa headquarters to 9950 Jeronimo Road in Irvine. The two-building campus spans 262,000 square feet and includes a two-story atrium that connects the structures.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Bixby CEO Bill Halford said his company was planning to reposition the buildings into a mega-creative office project and spend upward of $30 million on the development.
With Karma at the wheel, the automaker will perform its own tenant improvements, a Bixby representative told the Register.
Halford said Bixby, based in Newport Beach, was in the middle of the design process when Karma came in and said it really wanted to be in Irvine and that the buildings worked well for what they planned to do. Bixby considered the deal to be a “pinnacle” for the company, which has converted some 30 buildings in similar circumstances.
Gregg Haly and Jeff Carr of CBRE Group represented Bixby in the transaction, and Karma Automotive was represented by Kevin Leonard and George Okita of California Commercial Real Estate Services in Newport Beach.
The lease to Karma Automotive coincides with Bixby’s $10.5 million sale of an adjacent, 4.7‑acre vacant land parcel to Chapman University, which has been an active investor in the area. Chapman also recently bought two nearby buildings for the ongoing expansion of its Irvine campus.
Bixby, which received multiple offers on the parcel in a competitive bidding process, was represented in the sale transaction by CBRE’s Haly and Carr. Alex Hayden, Travis Boyd and Rick Sherburne at CBRE represented Chapman University.