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Unique office buildings make the difference to some employers

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While many San Diegans head to work every day to a standard office building, some companies seek out unique properties, and San Diego has several to offer. Many of these office spaces have special features that provide an attractive and peaceful working environment, creating a resort-like atmosphere for employees.

Located on West Bernardo Drive in Rancho Bernardo Courtyard is reminiscent of a Spanish Villa and unlike the typical corporate office space.

Rancho Bernardo Courtyard is a Class A office building that offers approximately 72,000 rentable square feet.

Named after its courtyard, which centers around a Spanish-style fountain surrounded by flora and fauna, the building is furnished with solid teak French windows and balcony doors that open out onto the courtyard.

"It's very beneficial to employees," said Mary Ann Yaghdjian, building manager for Rancho Bernardo Courtyard. "If something happens during the day they can go and sit by the fountain and relax. It's a great way to recharge and it's literally two steps out their door."

Yagdjian, whose family has owned and managed the building for 11 years, said the building atmosphere also makes a great impression on the tenants' clients.

"They walk in and their jaws always drop," she said.

Current and past tenants include Yahoo!, Thomson Multimedia Consumer Electronics and Vision Capital Corporation.

"Companies seeking high quality, distinctive office space generally understand the benefits of a positive working environment," said Jeb Bakke, a senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis. "The effect this unique environment has on a company's creativity and the productivity of its employee base, and the overall image this projects to clients, is invaluable."

The Torrey Pines Business & Research Park, located atop the bluffs at Torrey Pines, also offers a picturesque atmosphere.

Overlooking the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, the site of the PGA 2008 U.S. Open and Home of the Buick Invitational, the Torrey Pines Business & Research Park offers its tenants a relaxing and beautiful environment.

The five-building, 181,285-square-foot office/research and development complex was recently purchased by The Muller Co., which plans to upgrade the property.

Upgrades will include outdoor areas designed to be places where employees can congregate during breaks or brainstorm during an outdoor work session.

Brad Black with CB Richard Ellis said that offering companies in the scientific community inspiring areas outdoors for their employees is a valuable commodity for many businesses and a reason why employers have chosen this property.

"We know that occupants of Torrey Pines Business & Research Park value environments that nurture formal and informal collaboration amongst their employees," he said.

Other amenities at the property include a fitness center, outdoor volleyball court and easy access to jogging trails, libraries and local eateries.

Current tenants include Pfizer (NYSE: ), UC San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute.

Coming online in Carlsbad next spring is a two-story building, located at 1811 Aston Ave., which will be developed by Blackmore Co., the largest owner and developer of real estate located in the Carlsbad Research Center.

The 57,128-square-foot building's lobby features a 28-foot high, freestanding, stone-clad waterfall encompassing the building elevator, with a disappearing edge pool beneath the stairs.

The building is surrounded by palm trees and located within walking distance of Emerald Lake and numerous retail amenities. A 18-hole golf course, scheduled to be completed in 2007, will be adjacent to the building.

Submitted by CB Richard Ellis

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