GE Asset Management has teamed up with a California commercial real estate investment and development firm to purchase a 386,011 sq. ft. office and retail project in Orange, Calif.

Birtcher Anderson Realty LLC, based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., acquired Orange City Square in alliance with GE Asset Management, one of the nation’s largest institutional property managers. The price was undisclosed. The seller was Springfield, Mass.-based Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

“The property is in excellent physical condition; is located in a sub-market characterized by low vacancy and lack of available sites to develop competitive property and has in place rents substantially below prevailing market rates,” said Bob Anderson, CEO of Birtcher Anderson.

The four-building property is off the 22 Freeway at 750, 770, 790 and 840 The City Drive South in Orange, Calif. Built in 1988, the 14-acre project includes three office buildings totaling 373,619 sq. ft., and a retail pavilion of 12,392 sq. ft. that includes restaurants and a gym, florist and automotive detailing service. The property was 86% occupied at the close of escrow. “It is unusual to see an asset of core quality and scale with so much upside potential,” Anderson says.

Central Orange County has shown strong rent growth in recent years and a declining vacancy rate, now 7.5%, Anderson says. Construction has added less than 1% of new space annually in the past five years.

Dan Broderick, Adam Edwards and Kevin Crummy of Eastdil Secured represented both the buyer and seller. Birtcher Anderson Properties, the property management arm of Birtcher Anderson Realty, will manage and lease the property.