by Carrie Rossenfeld
The much-anticipated creative-office development here, FLIGHT at Tustin Legacy, has undergone “nuanced, thoughtful and impactful refinements that are additive to the user experience or improve the efficiency and value proposition of the project,” developer Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co.’s EVP Parke Miller tells GlobeSt.com. The City of Tustin recently approved the disposition and development agreement and associated entitlements with Lincoln for FLIGHT, which marks an important step toward bringing an innovative, mixed-use collaborative office campus to the 1,600-acre master-planned community of Tustin Legacy. We spoke with Miller, along with John Nielsen, mayor of the City of Tustin, about the latest advancements with this project and what it says about the market.
GlobeSt.com: This project has been a vision for Tustin for a long time. How does FLIGHT fit into the master-plan of Tustin Legacy?
Nielsen: FLIGHT, previously known as Cornerstone I Center, is in fact our first major creative-office development at the former MCAS Tustin. FLIGHT, and the idea of bringing a ground-up creative-office campus to this area, has always been a critical and central element of the master-planned Tustin Legacy project. FLIGHT is significant because it not only helps meet a demand for unique office product in Orange County, but it also raises the bar for future development projects for the community.
GlobeSt.com: What does this mean from an economic standpoint for Tustin as well as Orange County?
Nielsen: The economic impact of FLIGHT for the City of Tustin and Orange County is multifaceted. It is the first of its kind in creative-office development not only in Tustin, but in Orange County. The sale of the property allows the City to reinvest that money back into further development of the overall Tustin Legacy expansion, including backbone infrastructure such as roads, parks and pedestrian bikeways. The City will also be able to use some of these funds to complete a negotiated agreement with the Tustin Unified School District to advance funds to build a high-tech middle school and high school campus.
When fully developed, it is anticipated this project will bring in more than 1,700 jobs. This creation of jobs helps fulfill the City’s goal in developing Tustin Legacy as a unique place to live, work, and play.FLIGHT collaborative space rendering Collaborative open space is essential to any creative-office project, and FLIGHT is no exception.
GlobeSt.com: How are you looking at design differently, and what is the process for that?
Miller: On a big-picture level, our design team has challenged itself with continuing to innovate the design of FLIGHT, not necessarily with wholesale changes but with nuanced, thoughtful and impactful refinements that are additive to the user experience or improve the efficiency and value proposition of the project. Over the past few months, our team has met with as many of the most cutting-edge workplace designers and office space occupiers as possible. We want to listen and learn specifically about how these progressive office spaces are working best for their organizations and why; which features, services and amenities are providing companies with a competitive advantage to attract and retain the best talent; and which design elements and practices are creating massive positive impacts to creativity and productivity in the workplace. At the same time, one of the key elements of really effective office space is that of being transformative and continually innovative, so we are doing our absolute best to plan and build a project that can meet the demands and desires of an office tenant 15 years from now, almost as well as it can meet those same demands and desires today.
GlobeSt.com: FLIGHT’s architecture for this project is unlike any other OC project. What does that say about the market?
Miller: There is a very clear pent-up demand and really strong reception from the tenant/user side for FLIGHT, which is the first purpose-built creative office project in Orange County. The architecture itself is stunning and certainly groundbreaking for Orange County (and maybe many other places), but behind that is a list of compelling features, functions and bonuses to support the inspirational aesthetic, from building design and efficiency features (split-periphery core, outdoor patios and catwalks) to project amenities (on-site market food hall, indoor and outdoor conferencing space) to truly defining characteristics (unique tenant branding opportunities, the only park-adjacent office project in Orange County)—all this in a project that will be built in the geographic center of Orange County, so easily accessible, with the support of the world-class and progressive City of Tustin, in walking distance to high-quality retail and housing. The market really has no idea what’s being built here yet, but we believe it’s ready and will respond with the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that has been the hallmark of Orange County throughout its history.
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