Mark Mueller

News Editor/Reporter

Mark Mueller covers commercial and residential real estate for the Orange County Business Journal. His beat also includes title insurers and mortgage lenders, as well as government stories that relate to real estate. He can be reached at mueller@ocbj.com.

Email: mueller@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 226

Recent Stories

New Home Co. Expands OC Reach With New Offerings

More Deals Off Irvine Ranch; ‘Attainable’ Focus

The New Home Co., one of the most active builders on the Irvine Ranch in the past few years, is expanding its presence to other Orange County markets this year.

Royalty Carpet Sheds 2 Industrial Sites for $70M

REAL ESTATE: Hines, Turner to rehab them; Edwards deal close

Two area real estate developers have bought two large industrial buildings in the Irvine Business Complex area vacated last year by Royalty Carpet Mills Inc., in separate deals valued at more than $70 million combined.

Lennar Offshoot Pays Top Dollar for CM Rental Site

REAL ESTATE: Land near Segerstrom Center goes for $55M

A development site in Costa Mesa’s arts district that’s earmarked for a luxury apartment project has traded hands at one of the highest per-acre prices in the region recently.

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H&M Heads Spectrum Center Expansion

A two-story, flagship H&M clothing store is the largest of the new slate of tenants coming this summer to a new phase of the Irvine Spectrum Center.

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Strong 2017 End to JWA Sales As Irvine Tower Trades

REAL ESTATE: 2600 Michelson Goes For $120M, Up 70% Since ’11

The 2600 Michelson tower in Irvine has been acquired by an investment affiliate of Los Angeles-based brokerage CBRE Group Inc. in one of the priciest office transactions in the John Wayne Airport area of the past year.

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Soccer Club’s Goals: New Sponsors, Foreign Players

SPORTS: Japanese star Honda invests in OC team

Orange County Soccer Club has brought on one of Japan’s best-known athletes as a part-owner and a link to a new source of players and endorsements for the upstart soccer franchise.

Mariner Square Rentals Sell for $23M, Records Show

Melia Eyes New Homes; Says 2019 Start at Earliest

Melia Homes apparently got itself a relative bargain for a Newport Beach apartment complex it bought last month.

OC’s Largest Housing Developments See 3,724 Sales in ‘17

The Irvine Ranch retained its position as the best-selling master-planned community in Orange County last year, while three other communities in Orange County also ranked among the top 20 in the nation for sales in 2017, according to a new report.

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BPOY 2017: The Chairman Stepped Up

Bren’s HQ2 Bid Puts Irvine’s Growth on Display

Donald Bren went all in last year to try to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Irvine, a rare public display of deal soliciting from Orange County’s dominant businessperson.

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Club Pilates Brand Stretches to Irvine

SERVICES: Brand star of new umbrella co. Xponential Fitness

A new fitness-focused umbrella company anchored by Club Pilates—one of the country’s fastest-growing franchising businesses—plans to pump up the size of its Orange County headquarters and operations.

A Street Apart: Newport Center Sits Atop Office Rents

REAL ESTATE: No. 15 among US streets, sixth in state

Newport Center Drive’s role of prominence in Orange County’s office market—including prominent rents—remains unsurpassed, according to a new national brokerage report.

Platinum Triangle’s Latest Sale: Stadium Crossings

Pendulum Property, Long Wharf JV Pay $40M-Plus

Irvine-based Pendulum Property Partners, a commercial real estate investor and developer that kicked off operations a little more than a year ago, ended 2017 with a bang.

92 New Homes Proposed For NB’s Westcliff Area

REAL ESTATE: Melia Homes plans to convert site that now holds rentals

Irvine-based homebuilder Melia Homes is looking to tear down an older apartment complex in the Westcliff area of Newport Beach to make way for one of the largest for-sale housing developments that part of the city has seen in years.

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2018 Preview: Real Estate

Orange County’s real estate market is approaching its ninth year of growth, albeit sometimes choppy growth, largely unprecedented territory considering most real estate cycles last six or seven years at best.

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Los Olivos Expansion Plans Include For-Sale Homes

169 Detached Condos And 1,781 Rentals Eyed

Irvine Co. plans to add a limited amount of for-sale housing to offerings in its Los Olivos community in the Irvine Spectrum area.

Major Mixed-Use Project Proposed for Mariner’s Mile

REAL ESTATE: Collection of Moshayedi family properties eyed for 600,000 SF

The biggest property owners in the Mariner’s Mile area of Newport Beach have proposed the largest development the high-traffic area’s had in years, a mixed-use project featuring retail, offices, restaurants and apartments.

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Subprime Auto Firm Veros Buys HQ in Busy Year

REAL ESTATE: $165M securitization firm’s first

The acquisition of Veros Credit LLC’s Santa Ana headquarters is the latest piece of notable business this year for the family-owned auto finance company, which is taking steps to ramp up lending operations.

Lennar Regional Executives Tapped

REAL ESTATE: Roos gets OC, West; 1 spot for CalAtlantic

Lennar Corp. plans to install its own executives in the top spot in four of the five national homebuilding regions it will run after buying Irvine-based Cal- Atlantic Homes, according to company documents provided to the Business Journal.

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No End in Sight for Toll Brothers’ Luxe Push in OC

$44M Yorba Linda Site Offers Half-Acre Lots

Toll Brothers Inc. is adding another high-end housing development to its Orange County portfolio.

2017 Year In Review: Real Estate

5 Big Stories

Irvine Ranch became the country’s largest source of new-home sales; Great Park Neighborhoods, Rancho Mission Viejo and Lake Forest’s Baker Ranch were also among the 25-best-selling communities in the U.S.; and average new-home prices in Orange County veered closer to $1 million.

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Food Hall Added to Project Plan at Old LA Times Site

REAL ESTATE: $65M sale big boost from $39M valuation

The new owners of the former Los Angeles Times printing facility in Costa Mesa are switching up redevelopment plans of the 24-acre site next to the headquarters of the Los Angeles Chargers, with a “high-end public market” concept alongside previously planned creative-office uses.

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Long-Troubled Anaheim GardenWalk for Sale Again

67% Leased; Some Shops Not Paying Fixed Rents

The Anaheim GardenWalk shopping center is up for sale for the second time in five years.

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Von Karman Office Sale Tops for PSF Price in ’17

Law Firm, Tenant Since 2015, Now Owner

The value of a recently sold Newport Beach office building on Von Karman Avenue near John Wayne Airport has spiked in a little more than two years.

Hotel Laguna Investor Makes Mission Viejo Buy

REAL ESTATE: Says hotel operator’s sales claims false

The purchase of a medical office and retail property in Mission Viejo appears to have gone a bit smoother for Laguna Beach-based Combined Investments LLC than a notable hotel deal it has in the works in its home city.

Irvine Co. Sells JWA Biz Park, Surf City Rentals

REAL ESTATE: Koll Co. buys SkyPark; SF’s Sack gets Sendero

Irvine Co. has offloaded two older properties, an apartment complex in Huntington Beach and a business park close to John Wayne Airport, in separate deals.

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Platinum Triangle Site Eyed for New Development

Pacific Industrial-Led Buy for Site on Katella

An 8.6-acre site in Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle is being considered for a variety of new commercial real estate development options following its recent sale.

Orange Tower Gets Well-Connected Owners

Lincoln Partners With Kushner-Backed Group

Lincoln Property Co. has added another big Platinum Triangle property to its local portfolio, buying the 14-story Orange Center Tower office building with backing from a well-connected financial partner.

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LA Times Site Sells for $65M

The owners of the Costa Mesa creative office complex that holds the headquarters of the Los Angeles Chargers have picked up an even larger redevelopment site next door.

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Gardenwalk Goodfellas? Report Sheds Light on Deal

Near Miss for Anaheim Mall After 2014 Lease

The Anaheim Gardenwalk entertainment center near Disneyland Resort has faced its share of leasing challenges since its 2008 opening, a good portion of it sitting vacant or underutilized for a large portion of its history.

Tustin Legacy Takes Center Stage

Office, Retail, Other Projects Could Top 3M SF

If you pull up a map of Orange County on Google Earth and zoom into the region’s center, you’ll find yourself staring at the Tustin Legacy development.

New Owner, Loan for The District at Tustin Legacy

Kimco Takes Over, Pays $304.7M for 688,000 SF

The District at Tustin Legacy has quietly changed its ownership structure, and the new controlling owners for Orange County’s sixth-largest shopping center by sales have just completed a significant new financing deal for the massive retail property.

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Irvine Co. Retail Reinvention Extends to Executive Team

Irvine Co. has shaken up the executive team of its retail properties division, which operates the largest collection of shopping centers and neighborhood centers in Orange County.

Five Point Sells More Land for Homes, Plots Retail

Five Point Holdings LLC said it has sold the 103 acres of land that will hold the next batch of homes at Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods, for $475 million.

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Silicon Valley Lease Gives Irvine Co. Notable Name

164,000 SF for Amazon, Takes Ericsson Space

Tasseography followers, take note: Amazon appears to be a fan of Irvine Co. office properties.

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CalAtlantic, Lennar Under One Roof

El Toro Land Rivals in 2005 Have Big OC Ops

Irvine will apparently become a central hub of operations for Lennar Corp. following its acquisition of locally based CalAtlantic Homes, but consolidation of the homebuilders’ Orange County offices and staff over the next year will likely result in area job cuts.

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Aluminum Firm Maintains Innocence, Fights Seizure

Irvine Warehouse Part of International Tariff Caper

The foreign owners of Irvine’s 2323 Main St. industrial building are fighting the federal government’s attempt to seize ownership of the airport-area property, citing in court filings “demonstrably false” allegations and violations of its due process.

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New Owners for Costa Mesa’s Triangle, $55M Sale

REAL ESTATE: Caps $150M in deals for Greenlaw Partners

The Triangle, the Costa Mesa entertainment center that’s home to some of the city’s busiest nightspots, restaurants and other venues, has been sold to a Los Angeles-based real estate investor who’s no stranger to the dating scene.

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Incipio Moving HQ, Preps New LA Retail Site

TECHNOLOGY: Device accessory firm eyes ‘transaction’

Incipio Group is changing its skin.

First Steps for ATEP

Tustin College Campus Eyes Private-Sector Users

Tustin Legacy is doubling down on office development, and now has an eye on education and job training for the region’s next generation of tech workers.

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Luxe Home Sales Propel New Home to New Heights

2-Year Growth of 208%; New Affordability Focus

A slowly improving U.S. housing market has boosted most large national homebuilders’ sales and bottom lines over the past few years.

Amazon Grows OC Presence with Buena Park Deal

Distribution Site Top Q3 Industrial Lease

Amazon hasn’t selected Orange County for its massive HQ2 project, as far as we’ve heard.

Locals Taking Over Hotel Laguna, Face Lawsuit

REAL ESTATE: Details, plan of deal for iconic site unclear

The sale of the iconic Hotel Laguna to a group of prominent Orange County business executives and community leaders is being challenged in court by the Laguna Beach hotel’s operators, who claim they were illegally deprived of the opportunity to buy the 65-room property.

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Hines, Oaktree Buy PacSun HQ

REAL ESTATE: Retailer in 15-year lease-back

The local office of development and investment firm Hines has made another notable office acquisition in North Orange County, buying the Anaheim headquarters of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.

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‘One-Click’ Pitch for Amazon

Irvine Co. Would Fund 8M-SF Project, L-T Lease

The city of Irvine is pulling out all the stops to land Amazon’s second headquarters, including an offer from Irvine Co. to fully finance the development of the 8-million-square-foot project, which would be largely built on its Spectrum-area land.

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Birtcher’s New Biz Eyeing SoCal Industrial Projects

REAL ESTATE: Family biz back after Goodman stint

Birtcher Development LLC is back in business, minus the Australian accent.

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Michelson Tower Sale Ranks High in Recent Flips

$117 Million Jump In Price Tops in California

Emmes Group of Cos.’ ownership of the Michelson office tower in Irvine from 2009 to 2012 was said in a recent market report to be the shrewdest office investment in the state in recent years.

Newport Beach Tennis Club Land Trades for $12.4M

REAL ESTATE: Diamond Jamboree owners invest

The land underneath the Newport Beach Tennis Club has been bought by a prominent area retail developer.

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Southland Industries Adds in Garden Grove

REAL ESTATE: Contractor takes Money Mailer’s old headquarters

Southland Industries, one of the country’s largest mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems contractors, is stepping up its presence in its home of Garden Grove.

Sunstone Gets Sky-High View at 200 Spectrum Tower

Top-Floor Lease Follows Tarsadia Deal in Newport

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. is the latest hospitality company getting a prime view at one of Irvine Co.’s new area office towers.

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‘OC Silicon Cities’ Pitch For Amazon HQ2 Project

Willowick Golf Course Key Part of 10Msf Plan

A cluster of Central Orange County cities plan to throw their hats in the ring to get e-commerce giant Amazon’s second headquarters.

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