Mark Mueller

Senior Editor

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

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 226

Recent Stories

Premier Business Centers Tops in Co-Working in OC

REAL ESTATE: Bascom unit has 15 OC sites, 277K SF

Premier Business Centers doesn’t have the Wall Street buzz WeWork Inc. does or brand-new locations in some of Orange County’s recently built or redesigned office developments like some other co-working peers, such as Spaces.

Retail Center Near South Coast Plaza Sells for $46.5M

JH Real Estate Partners Swaps Rentals for Retail

Newport Beach-based JH Real Estate Partners Inc. recently added a big local property to its growing retail portfolio, a shopping center across the street from South Coast Plaza.

Santa Ana’s MainPlace Eyed for Big Makeover

REAL ESTATE: Apartments, offices, hotels proposed for site

The owners of MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, Orange County’s ninth-largest shopping center by sales, have proposed an extensive overhaul of the roughly 50-acre property.

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CEO Unfazed By ‘No’ Vets Cemetery Vote

REAL ESTATE: Revised land plans one more tweak to site

FivePoint Communities Inc. Chief Executive Emile Haddad continues to strike a positive tone on the future of Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine, despite an election loss that will result in another change in plans for part of the former El Toro Marine base.

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Irvine Office Projects Dominate OC Development

4M SF of New Ones Opened Here in Past Year

Orange County’s commercial development community was buoyed over the year ended April 30 by a surge of office openings, primarily in Irvine, the country’s biggest office market.

Construction Firms Report Solid Gains; 10-Year High

$9.1B in Commercial Work By Local Offices

Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies defied some worrisome regional trends to post their best revenue year in a decade.

Industrial Market Gets Infusion of Needed New Blood

Industrial Pipeline Biggest It Has Been Here in Years

There are signs of life for development in Orange County’s aging industrial market.

Busy Irvine Retail Center Eyes More Shops, Parking

23,000-SF Expansion On Tap for 1.7-Acre Site

The owners of the popular Diamond Jamboree shopping center in Irvine are proceeding with plans for a sizable addition to their project.

Panattoni Starts Latest Anaheim Industrial Project

REAL ESTATE: 4 buildings at Placentia city line planned

Panattoni Development Co., the most active industrial developer in Anaheim over the past decade, has started work on another project there, a multibuilding business park at the Placentia city line.

Intersect Redo Shapes Up With Shipping Containers

Restaurant, Bar, Chickens All Part of New Courtyard

Backed by a new financing deal and a flurry of recent leasing activity, the owners of the Intersect office campus in Irvine are almost finished with nearly $25 million worth of redevelopment work at the four-building project near John Wayne Airport.

5 Offices in Aliso Viejo’s Summit Sell for $150M+

REAL ESTATE: 1st direct OC investment for Rockpoint

A deep-pocketed Boston-based real estate investor has bought five offices in Aliso Viejo in what looks to be the priciest commercial property transaction in Orange County so far this year.

Fast-Growing Fintech Acorns Plots Big Growth

REAL ESTATE: New HQ to triple Irvine presence near UCI

Irvine-based Acorns Grow Inc., fresh off a $50 million funding deal headed by investment giant BlackRock Inc., plans to nearly triple the size of its local headquarters near the University of California-Irvine.

Co-Working Firm Latest Big Addition to Quad

REAL ESTATE: 102K SF for Spaces at 3 OC office locations

Orange County’s rapidly growing base of co-working spaces geared to smaller businesses is expanding to another prominent location at a nearly ready office campus in the Irvine Spectrum.

SchoolsFirst Credit Union Buys Office in Riverside

$25.4M Deal Comes Year After OC Group Buy

Santa Ana-based SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in California, has added one of the most prominent office buildings in the Inland Empire market to its real estate portfolio.

Orange Offices Eyed for Rentals, For-Sale Homes

A seven-building office complex in Orange near MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana has been proposed as the site of a large residential complex featuring rental units and for-sale homes.

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Museum Site Project Plans Scaled Down

REAL ESTATE: Vivante senior homes on table for NB

Plans are under way to build a high-end senior living facility on the site of Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, where the museum has been since the late 1970s.

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Irvine Co. Adds To Spectrum Mix

REAL ESTATE: 4th Thales building in landlord’s portfolio

Irvine Co. has bought one of the largest commercial properties in the Irvine Spectrum that it didn’t already own, an office used by the in-flight entertainment division of Thales USA Inc. for its domestic headquarters.

Newport Beach’s Newest Hotel Hub for RE Execs

Lido House Busy With OC Dealmakers

Looking to do a real estate deal and need a partner?

Tustin Legacy Mixed-Use Project Slimmed Down

REAL ESTATE: Blimp hangar now out of Brookfield plans

Plans for an ambitious mixed-use project at the Tustin Legacy development have been scaled back, with the city now planning to oversee reuse of one of the base’s two iconic blimp hangars rather than a private developer.

Costa Mesa’s Plaza Tower Gets Flurry of Leasing

REAL ESTATE: IBM renewal among largest deals this year

Plaza Tower, one of Costa Mesa’s best-known and swankiest offices, has experienced nearly 100,000 square feet of leasing activity from a variety of tenants over the past few weeks.

Lido Revival Continues With Projects Near Water

Slew of Development Revives Peninsula Area

When Lido House, Newport Beach’s first newly built hotel in a decade, held its grand opening ceremony last month, the property was given a blessing by the Rev. Canon Cindy Evans Voorhees of the neighboring St. James Episcopal Church.

Karma’s Old Costa Mesa HQ Sold, Getting Upgrades

2-Building Site Next To JWA Trades for $33.7M

Two industrial buildings in Costa Mesa next to John Wayne Airport, including the former headquarters of Karma Automotive, have traded hands for about $33.7 million.

Mobilitie's Next Moves

Telecom Firm Grows With Beer, Books, R.E.

As the founder of the largest telecommunications firm based in Orange County, Gary Jabara has been a mainstay on the Business Journal’s annual listing of the area’s most influential and prominent businesspeople for nearly a decade.

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LBA’s Industrial Buying Spree Approaches $170M

2 More Sears Deals Follow Santa Ana Buy

Irvine-based LBA Realty has splashed out nearly $168 million on industrial deals outside of Orange County over the past month, in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, Florida and the Pacific Northwest, according to local news reports.

Prologis Buys Foothill Ranch Site, More on Way

REAL ESTATE: $55.4M industrial buy; DCT deal agreed

Prologis Inc., the country’s largest warehouse property owner, is beefing up its Orange County presence following the largest industrial purchase in the area so far this year, and through the blockbuster acquisition of a national competitor with a modest local portfolio.

More Tenants to Old Broadcom Space Near UCI

REAL ESTATE: Paciolan, Medtronic’s Covidien move

Irvine Co. has backfilled a good portion of Broadcom Inc.’s former office campus near the University of California-Irvine after leasing a total of nearly 144,000 square feet.

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Boeing Looks to Shed Surf City Office, Excess Land

8-Story Office Could Fetch $60 Million, Make Way for Industrial

Boeing Corp. has put one of its largest area properties on the market for sale.

Fullerton Buys Add to Duke Realty’s OC Holdings

$22.8M for Site Follows 2017 Buena Park Deal

Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp., one of the country’s top owners of large industrial properties, is beefing up its local portfolio.

Santa Ana Business Park Sells for Nearly $74 Million

REAL ESTATE: Greenlaw Partners buys 5 buildings

Orange County Business Center, a five-building office park in Santa Ana, has traded hands for nearly $74 million, in one of the largest office deals in the area this year.

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Vanguard Eyes Updates To Costa Mesa Campus

Project Would Help Boost Enrollment

Vanguard University is planning an extensive renovation and expansion of its Costa Mesa campus in an effort to boost enrollment by more than 25%.

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Willowick Golf Course Plans Get 2 Cities’ Attention

RFP for Developer Of 101.5-Acre Site on Tap

Santa Ana and Garden Grove are considering redevelopment of the Willowick Golf Course, and should soon take initial steps to find a master developer.

OC CalAtlantic Homes Get Lennar Upgrades

REAL ESTATE: Efficient building key post-combo tweak

The results of Lennar Corp.’s February acquisition of Irvine-based homebuilder Cal-Atlantic Group Inc. are starting to surface at some of the combined company’s area developments and in Orange County’s office market.

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Intracorp’s IBC Strategy: Sales, Not Apartments

247 Irvine Units in Works; Costa Mesa Homes, Also

Intracorp Cos. is preparing to take the wraps off the first of several for-sale, infill housing projects near John Wayne Airport.

Ziggurat Landmark’s Future in Balance Again

Iconic Fed Office Eyed for Sale

The fate of the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel, Orange County’s largest office and one of the area’s most distinctive structures, is once again up in the air.

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Disney Growth Plans Extend to Industrial Sites

REAL ESTATE: Largest Q1 lease for Cerritos Ave. building

Walt Disney Co. recently signed a lease for an industrial building in Anaheim, the latest notable real estate move of Orange County’s largest employer and the biggest industrial lease in OC so far this year by square footage.

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Sanitation District Expands Fountain Valley Holdings

2-Story Office Next To Site It Has for New HQ

The Orange County Sanitation District has completed the purchase of an office building in Fountain Valley that it intends to use for expanding operations.

FivePoint Plots More Affordable Offerings in Irvine

REAL ESTATE: Market rate condos would start at 654 SF

FivePoint Communities Inc., the real estate firm overseeing development of the former El Toro Marine base in Irvine, has disclosed plans to build some of the city’s smallest and likely most affordable homes in years.

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Boardwalk Differences: Size, Style, Lots of Service

Concierge-Type Property Management at Irvine Site

Walking onto The Boardwalk campus for the first time, visitors could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stepped into Orange County’s newest, hippest luxury hotel instead of the first large office project in the airport area of Irvine since the recession.

LoanDepot HQ Complex Back on Market for Sale

Last Sold for About $40M; One of Wen’s Local Assets

The Foothill Ranch office complex that holds the headquarters of mortgage lender LoanDepot Inc. and other tenants is on the market about 16 months after it last sold.

Having a Record Year

17% Gains in Past Year As Leasing, Sales Climb

Another active year in building, apartment and land sales, along with solid leasing activity across all product types, made for a strong year among Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages.

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BJ’s Restaurants HQ Stays on Tap in Surf City

Slow Pace of Openings As Wages, Costs Rise

Casual restaurant chain BJ’s Restaurants Inc., the largest public company based in Huntington Beach and one of the city’s largest office tenants, has struck a deal to keep its headquarters in Surf City.

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OC Homebuilders Poised to Gain from IE Growth

No. 3 Among ‘Sizzling Markets;’ OC is No. 28

Several Orange County-based homebuilders’ recent effort to expand operations into the Inland Empire appears to be at an opportune time in the market cycle, according to a new report by Irvine-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Aerie Pharma Moves HQ To NC, Preps for First Sales

Irvine Office Stays; Was 12th-Biggest OC Pub. Co.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. has quietly shifted its headquarters from Irvine to North Carolina, removing a notable name from the list of Orange County-based public companies.

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‘Rusty Skeleton’ Redevelopment Moves Forward

REAL ESTATE: 394-unit senior housing project for Garden Grove

An Encino-based land developer is making strides in turning Garden Grove’s infamous “rusty skeleton” construction site into the largest affordable senior housing project the city’s ever seen.

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Edwards Makes Moves to Expand Irvine HQ Campus

Plans Filed to Incorporate Royalty Carpet Property

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Orange County’s largest public company with a market value of about $29 billion, appears to be making strides to buy a site next to its Irvine headquarters for a large expansion.

Irvine Investors Get 5-Office Complex Near District

REAL ESTATE: $42M buy in Irvine, Santa Ana, Orange deals

Glendale-based office and industrial property investor PS Business Parks Inc. has sold a five-building office park in Irvine to a local investor for nearly $42 million in one of three big Orange County property sales on the table for the company this year.

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Open For Business

OC’s Biggest New Office Site in Years 77% Leased

Five Point Gateway, the largest and most expensive office complex built in Orange County in over a decade, is largely finished and open to tenants.

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Busy Stretch of Harbor Blvd. Sees 2nd Big Office Sale

LA Buyers Take Over 4-Building Park in SCM

Los Angeles-based investors have snapped up a four-building office complex on Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana, the second notable deal in that part of the submarket of South Coast Metro this year.

Top Prices for ’17 Top Deals; Buyers Eye New Plans

$3.4B Sales, 4.5M SF Office, Industrial Leases

Last year’s top Orange County deals were driven in large part by reinvention.

Rising Rates Take Bite Out of Title Cos.’ 2017 Work

Commercial, Homebuying Business Pick up Refi Slack

The country’s biggest title insurers are striking optimistic notes on the health of their industry, despite the expectation of additional interest rate hikes, which have already put a crimp on refinance business.