Orange County Business Journal

Commercial Market Comes Olen’s Way

REAL ESTATE: $24.5M for Santa Ana center; eyes more Mark Mueller Saturday, February 4, 2012
McFadden Centre: $133 per square foot

McFadden Centre: $133 per square foot

Newport Beach-based Olen Properties Corp. has snapped up a Santa Ana business park for $24.5 million and has its eyes open for other local deals.

The real estate owner and developer, Orange County’s second-largest commercial property owner, recently closed on the buy of McFadden Centre, an 184,737-square-foot business park just off the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway along McFadden Avenue.

The 11-building complex, which is about 88% leased, sold for about $133 per square foot. It’s one of the larger multi-tenant business parks to trade hands in the area over the past few years.

It’s the second notable local business park acquisition in the past few months for Olen. The company paid a reported $18.8 million for the nine-building Mission Viejo Commerce Park, a 146,000-square-foot property in Mission Viejo, a few months ago. That deal ranked as the county’s priciest industrial sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Washington, D.C.-based market tracker CoStar Group Inc.

7 Million SF

Olen now owns more than 7 million square feet of office and industrial space, much of it in OC, and is believed to be the biggest office landlord here besides Newport Beach-based Irvine Company.

A large portion of its office portfolio is made up of low- and midrise business parks, along with similar to its latest two purchases, along with a few higher-profile towers and office campuses. The Santa Ana and Mission Viejo deals are more a reflection of changes in pricing for area buildings, rather than any changes to Olen’s acquisition strategy, according to Igor Olenicoff, Olen’s president and owner, whose company hasn’t made too many headline-making purchases here the past few years

“[It] is not that we are becoming any more active buyers,” Olenicoff said in an email. “It is just that we are finding that there are more deals around that make sense financially.”

Olenicoff said Olen Properties first tried to buy McFadden Centre almost a year ago but failed to come to terms with the sellers—Laguna Hills-based Muller Co., which had owned the business park since the 1990s.

Eventually the company was “able to come to terms with the seller by coming up some and the seller entity coming down in price,” he said.

McFadden Centre holds 76 flex and industrial units that average a little under 2,000 square feet, with the largest tenants running around 9,000 square feet. Monthly rents at the business park run between 95 cents and $1.15 per square foot, according to Olen’s website.

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