By Roger Vincent
The headquarters building of Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA in Irvine has been purchased by a local real estate company that plans to turn it into offices for rent.
Bixby Land Co. bought the property at 9950 Jeronimo Road for $44.25 million from Kawasaki, a Japan-based manufacturer of motorcycles, Jet Ski watercraft, bullet trains and other vehicles and machinery.
Kawasaki will remain in the building as a tenant while Bixby plans a $20 million makeover intended to create a work space for tenants in creative fields who are in search of large offices to rent. The building has 262,463 square feet.
The purchase is Bixby’s fourth acquisition in Orange County over the past 18 months. The Irvine firm also recently bought 15771 Redhill Avenue in Tustin. That 90,000-square-foot building is being redeveloped to serve one or two users.
“The pent-up demand for highly-amenitized workplaces in Orange County won’t be met in the near term by ground-up development, and we think this strategy is the quickest way to bring these projects to market,” said Bill Halford, chief executive of Bixby.
Bixby’s redesign of the Kawasaki building calls for the creation of an interior corridor beneath a large glass canopy. There is to be a fitness center and an indoor-outdoor cafe.
The design by architecture firm LPA also calls for significant upgrades to the exterior facade, including the addition of floor-to-ceiling glass lines and decorative screen metal canopies at building entry points.