LA Fitness International to expand in new Irvine headquarters

Gym operator LA Fitness International has agreed to expand its headquarters with a 10-year lease at the Michelson office building in Irvine.

The fitness company will expand its offices about 30% with a move into 91,000 square feet at the Michelson, landlord Emmes Realty Services of California said.

LA Fitness was founded in 1984 and has grown to be one of the country’s largest fitness club chains. In December, the company took over 171 Bally Total Fitness locations in 16 states, including about 40 in Southern California, marking one of the biggest deals by a gym chain in recent years.

With the $153-million purchase, LA Fitness had more than 500 locations nationwide. In 2010, LA Fitness generated around $1 billion in revenue, according to estimates by Club Industry.

Financial terms of the LA Fitness lease were not released, but real estate broker Jeff Ingham of Jones Lang LaSalle, who was not involved in the deal, estimated its value at more than $27 million.

The agreement with LA Fitness brings the Michelson at 3161 Michelson Drive to 93% leased, said Richard A.C. Coles, managing principal at Emmes. The 19-story tower was completed in 2007, just before the real estate downturn, and was nearly 40% vacant when Emmes acquired it in 2009.

The building was developed by Maguire Properties Inc., now known as MPG Office Trust Inc., to be the headquarters for lender New Century Mortgage Corp. New Century went bankrupt in 2007 and never moved in.

Other tenants in the building include auto lender Hyundai Capital America and law firms Gibson Dunn, Bryan Cave and Greenberg Traurig.  


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