Now, 10 years later, that 800 SF office in Jamboree Center in Irvine has grown into a bustling, 8,500 SF space that is the second largest team in the company.
“We sometimes call it HQ2,” says President & COO Shay Hughes. “Massive innovation happened there that spurred our growth across the country. It’s where we learned how to successfully open offices in new markets and scale up.”
In 2013, Orange County was a vibrant area, but nowhere near the commercial powerhouse it is today. Hughes Marino was able to tap into that growth early on and flourish along with the market. Through the years, the firm has won recognition from the Orange County Business Journal for accolades such as “Best Workplace in the OC” and “Best Family-Owned Business.” In fact, it was Tucker Hughes—the son of founders Jason and Shay Hughes—who was charged with opening that office all by himself 10 years ago. The second team member came shortly thereafter, after a chance encounter.
“Jason and I were in Orange Country for an event,” explains Shay, “and we stopped into a store for something. This guy walks up to Jason and says he recognizes us from our ads in the OC Business Journal. We started talking and learned he was a commercial broker in the area. We were impressed and said he should meet Tucker.”
Mike Lewis did meet Tucker for breakfast a few days later and the rest is history. Today, Lewis is one of the firm’s OGs in what has become a massive epicenter of business and industry in Southern California. Home to industries ranging from defense, medical devices, professional services and fashion to startups, legal, finance, private equity and more, Orange County has been the site of some of the largest office and industrial transactions of the last 20 years.
“We have a diverse operational team in Orange County,” says Shay, “and they are firing on all cylinders there. We’ve always had a strong culture in our original San Diego headquarters, and when the Orange County office opened, we were a little worried about how to replicate our unique cultural environment in a new city. But a few years later, it was almost reversed—the OC office had this amazing culture happening and we started adopting some of their ideas in San Diego and for the other offices, as well.”
During the past 10 years, Hughes Marino has continued to expand, opening offices across the country, from Seattle to Boston. Much of that growth can be traced back to the outstanding success we had with the Orange County office.
The milestone has given Tucker a moment to pause, “It’s inspiring to see how much the Orange County office has grown these past 10 years. It makes me energized to see what the next decade will bring. I cannot imagine working side-by-side with a better set of individuals than our amazing teammates.” Onward!