Device Maker Glaukos Moving HQ to Aliso Viejo

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11.28.18

Fast-growing medical device maker Glaukos Corp. is moving its headquarters from San Clemente to Aliso Viejo, after striking the largest office lease of the year in Orange County.

The 17-year-old company, whose iStent products are used to treat glaucoma, a major cause of blindness, finalized a deal last week to move its operations to the Element office campus, which consists of three two-story buildings on Aliso Viejo Parkway.

The company will occupy the entire 160,000-square-foot campus starting in the middle of next year.

Financial terms of the 13-year lease weren’t immediately disclosed. By square footage, it’s the biggest office lease since mid-2017, according to data from real estate market tracker CoStar Group Inc.

The relocation will nearly triple the space occupied by Glaukos (NYSE: GKOS), whose implantable stents are designed to drain excess fluid from the eye to alleviate intraocular pressure, and thereby prevent glaucoma and related vision issues.

Glaukos’ current operations in San Clemente total about 86,000 square feet and include manufacturing space as well as its headquarters.

It intends to maintain the San Clemente facilities “for the foreseeable future,” according to a regulatory filing last Friday.

The company employed 387 people at the end of last year, according to regulatory filings. The Aliso Viejo space should comfortably hold about 550 employees, according to John Drachman, principal with Newport Beach-based Waterford Property Company, which, along with the Newport Beach office of financial partner CrossHarbor Capital Partners, bought the Aliso Viejo office campus in 2016.

“This will give them plenty of room to expand” and better allow Glaukos to attract employees from other parts of OC, Drachman said.

Aliso Viejo has one of the largest concentrations of medical device and ophthalmology-related businesses in Southern California, with several publicly traded companies and their affiliates, foreign companies and privately held firms within a few miles of Glaukos’ new home.

The Element campus also includes about 2.5 acres of vacant land that could accommodate additional development, and Glaukos is in discussions to buy it. The land is entitled for 46,000 square feet of office space.

JLL’s Byron Foss, Nick Carey, Wade Tift and Curtis Ellmore represented the landlord in the lease, and Savills Studley’s Taylor Wood, Dillon Dummit and Wayne Lamb represented Glaukos.

Growth Mode

Glaukos is in full growth mode, company officials made clear this month after its third-quarter earnings report.

“We continue to invest and expand our sales force, marketing and market access teams, both in the U.S. and abroad,” Chief Executive Thomas Burns told analysts during the Nov. 7 earnings call.

Taylor Cotton