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

No Model, No Problem

Brisk Sales in Irvine, Even Without Them

This month’s grand opening of a collection of three new home types at Irvine’s Eastwood Village community had a bit of a carnival atmosphere, with an assortment of food trucks, balloons for children, and other giveaways for the more than 1,000 people who braved the summer heat.

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Tofu Maker Doubles Down on OC Presence

House Foods Unit Aims for $89M in Annual Sales

House Foods America Corp., a Garden Grove-based manufacturer of tofu, noodles and other Asian-influenced food products that’s seen a surge in business the last decade, has bought an office next to its headquarters for what looks to be a potential expansion of its local operations.

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CoreLogic GC to Leave

Stergios “Terry” Theologides, general counsel and secretary of CoreLogic Inc., will leave the Irvine-based real estate real estate data and research company next month.

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SF Investor’s Lake Forest Buys Likely to Top $110M

Drawbridge Gets HQ of Panasonic Avionics

San Francisco-based commercial real estate investor Drawbridge Realty has made its second Orange County office purchase in as many years, picking up the Lake Forest headquarters of Panasonic Avionics Corp.

Man Bites Dog: Irvine Co. JWA Office Park for Sale

REAL ESTATE: Complex built in 1975, totals 81,551 SF

In a rarity, Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. has put an office property it owns in Orange County up for sale.

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KBS Realty’s Office Spree Heads to Portland and S.C.

Under Contract For $155M Deal in Oakland

KBS Realty Advisors and affiliates continue to hunt for sizable office properties across the country for sale, with nearly $250 million worth of notable deals announced this month.

The Source Developer Plans Residences

REAL ESTATE: 5-story project, 16-story tower proposed

The developer of The Source, Buena Park’s largest commercial real estate development in over a decade, now has its eyes on residential development in the city.

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Garden Grove Plots Ambitious Hotel Growth Plan

Projects Could Grow Bed Taxes by 21% in 5 Years

Garden Grove economic development officials promote their city in marketing materials as “Southern California’s undiscovered jewel.”

FivePoint Goes Commercial With $443M Irvine Deal

REAL ESTATE: Broadcom site renamed; Irvine Co. model eyed

FivePoint Communities Inc. has completed the blockbuster $443 million purchase of Broadcom Ltd.’s campus where construction is wrapping up in Irvine.

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Industrial Deal Puts Sears’ OC Sales Near $228M

LBA Buys Big Industrial Site on Warner For $41M

An affiliate of struggling retailer Sears Holdings Corp. has sold a second sizable Orange County property in less than a month, the Business Journal has learned.

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Veritone Takes AI-Centric Business to Costa Mesa

New HQ at The Met Follows May IPO

Artificial intelligence technology and media firm Veritone Inc., fresh off an initial public offering in May that raised $37.5 million, is moving its headquarters to a larger space in Costa Mesa.

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San Clemente Site Looks to Add Hotel, Restaurants

Land Next to Outlets Mall Trades for $10 Million

A long-awaited hotel project at San Clemente’s Marblehead Coastal property appears to be taking steps toward construction.

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No Land, No Problem For Developer Western Realco

$40M in Buys Kick Off 1-Million-SF Beckman Project

Western Realco isn’t the only game in town right now when it comes to industrial development in Orange County.

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JLL Adds Laguna Hills Appraisal Office to Local Mix

Deal for Integra Its 4th OC Buy Since 2014

Chicago-based JLL, whose Irvine office is one of the largest commercial brokerages here, has added an Orange County-based appraisal office to its operations in its latest area acquisition.

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Mapping Technology Firm Moving Irvine HQ to URP

REAL ESTATE: Digital Map move follows VC funding, buy

The latest technology tenant that Irvine Co. has landed to replace Broadcom Ltd. at University Research Park shouldn’t need help with directions to its new headquarters.

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Office Buzz on Monster Buy: $58M Deal With Greenlaw in Newport

The top two executives of Corona-based Monster Beverage Corp. are about to add a trophy office in Newport Beach to their rapidly growing commercial real estate portfolio in Orange County.

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Olen Continues Rental Push in ‘Booming’ Markets, $600M Since ’14

Igor Olenicoff, the owner of Newport Beach-based real estate firm Olen Properties and Orange County’s third-wealthiest person, is keeping his company on the growth path locally and out of the area.

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Irvine’s Great Far East Looks to SGV for Latest Deal

Diamond Bar Value-Add Office Trades for $27.3M

Irvine-based real estate investor and developer Great Far East has its hands full getting a big office and hotel development next to John Wayne Airport through the entitlement stages, but it still found time this month to snap up one of the best office properties in the San Gabriel Valley city of Diamond Bar.

Sunstone Buys Key West Resort

Aliso Viejo-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has paid $175 million for a newly-built resort property in Key West, Fla.

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OC Soccer’s Reboot

REAL ESTATE: OCSC caps busy year with new home

James Keston will cap a whirlwind first year of sports ownership under the bright lights by moving his club into Orange County’s newest stadium.

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Luxe Deal: South Coast Plaza Buys Out Sears

$187M for Several Sites at Costa Mesa Mall

The owners of South Coast Plaza have bought back a large chunk of property at the Costa Mesa shopping center from department store operator Sears Holdings Corp., the Business Journal has learned.

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Glendale Latest LA Hotel Site Eyed By R.D. Olson

147-unit ‘Hotel Louise’ Near Americana Center

Newport Beach-based R.D. Olson Development plans to build another hotel on an infill site in Los Angeles County, this time in Glendale.

Investors Make Medical Deals Near Hoag-Newport

REAL ESTATE: Welltower adds 2nd new area medical office

A pair of healthcare-related properties in the vicinity of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach have changed hands in separate transactions valued at close to $63 million together.

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CSUF Student Housing Site Eyed for Renovations

Dana Point Investor Nabs OC Apartments

Fullerton University Village, a 100-unit student housing community within walking distance of California State University-Fullerton, has been sold to a Dana Point investor that’s planning a renovation of the 45-year-old property.

Lennar Latest With Plans for Downtown Anaheim

REAL ESTATE: Just-bought site entitled for 161 for-sale homes

Lennar Corp. has bought a sizeable infill housing development site in downtown Anaheim, in what looks to be the homebuilder’s largest purchase in the city in several years.

Tustin Creative Offices Take Flight

8 Buildings, Food Hall in 1st Construction Phase

Construction has started on Orange County’s first substantial ground-up creative-office project in Tustin.

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Behr Expands Santa Ana Ops in Year’s Biggest Office Lease

REAL ESTATE: 230,000-SF lease at old Powerwave HQ

Behr Process Corp., a Santa Ana-based manufacturer and supplier of architectural paint and exterior wood care products that’s one of the largest employers in its hometown, is planning a big expansion of local operations.

Irvine Co.’s Placentia Rental Sale Tops in OC for Year

REAL ESTATE: 3rd local sale, $104M Fairfield buy

Irvine Co. has sold its only known commercial holding in Placentia and one of the largest apartment complexes in the city in what’s apparently Orange County’s biggest rental property sale of the year to date.

Luckey’s Huntington Beach Buys Lead to Litigation

Brokers Say Deal Cut Them Out of Commission

Palmer Luckey’s recent purchase of a marina in Huntington Beach hasn’t gone over well with two brokers who claim they were stiffed on their commissions for a related portion of the transaction.

Costa Mesa’s Press Project Moves Closer to Kickoff

REAL ESTATE: Former LA Times site to hold 2 new offices

Redevelopment of the former Los Angeles Times printing plant in Costa Mesa into Orange County’s largest creative-office reuse project could begin in earnest early next year, with ground-up development of two new offices at the iconic property taking place in future phases of construction.

Japan’s Nikken Eyeing Another Office Sale in Irvine

Paid $10.3M in ’14; Now On Market For 57% More

Nikken Inc., a Japanese health and nutritional product maker with local operations in Irvine, could be on the move again, depending on the results of the sale of its Orange County office.

Carpet Co. Closure to Result in Big IBC Dealings

REAL ESTATE: Turner, Edwards seen as likely buyers

This month’s abrupt closure of Royalty Carpet Mills Inc. should result in several large real estate transactions, and possibly commercial development, in the area around John Wayne Airport.

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Anaheim’s Stadium Towers Sell For Nearly $77 Million

REAL ESTATE: CBRE unit buys 12-story tower next to ballpark

An office tower next to Angel Stadium in Anaheim has traded hands for just under $77 million, the priciest reported sale of a Central Orange County office in over three years.

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Savills Studley Grabs Marquee Tower for Local Ops

Lease at 520 Newport Ctr. Will Consolidate 2 Sites

Getting an affordable deal on office space at Newport Center’s newest and glitziest tower is unlikely, but if anyone was going to drive a bargain with Irvine Co. for space there, it would probably be a tenant representation brokerage.

Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach Trades for $57M

REAL ESTATE: Per-room price tops for big OC hotel this year

One of the most prominent hotel properties in Laguna Beach has sold in one of two big real estate deals recently completed in the city for a combined $90 million.

Laguna Hills Office Goes to NY Buyer

REAL ESTATE: Spectrum Tower next to hotel development

Spectrum Tower, one of the largest office buildings in Laguna Hills, has been bought by an out-of-town investor—just the latest example of the city’s changing commercial real estate landscape.

Home Builder, Parks Protector

Sons, Son-in-Law Help Run Company

Three generations of the Baldwin family have been part of one of the region’s largest homebuilding and real estate development businesses, with operations stretching from San Diego County to Ventura County over the years.

Savills Studley Grabs Marquee Tower for Local Ops

Lease at 520 Newport Ctr. Will Consolidate 2 Sites

Getting an affordable deal on office space at Newport Center’s newest and glitziest tower is unlikely, but if anyone was going to drive a bargain with Irvine Co. for space there, it would probably be a tenant representation brokerage.

Cemetery Deal Caps Off Active Spring for FivePoint

REAL ESTATE: Land swap follows IPO, office campus plans

A 250-acre land transaction in the heart of Irvine would be the highlight of the year for most area real estate companies and developers.

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Harrah Looks East For New Megaproject

REAL ESTATE: Old Register HQ site would become ‘625IVE’

Developer Mike Harrah is pushing ahead with plans for a major redevelopment of the Santa Ana land and buildings previously owned by the former parent company of the Orange County Register after the media company departed the property this year.

Passco Adds Fla. Rentals, IE Retail in Buying Spree

$173M for 846 Rentals, Corona Site, Since May

Real estate investor Passco Cos. LLC, one of the fastest-growing private companies in Orange County in the past few years, isn’t showing signs of a slowdown, thanks to a recent active acquisition push inside and outside California.

Anaheim Traffic Systems Firm Finds New Home

Econolite Execs Pay $19.8M for New Digs

Econolite Group Inc., a maker of traffic lights and other transportation control systems and one of the region’s oldest companies, has found a new home in Anaheim.

Tiny Home Development Proposed for W. Anaheim

Anaheim is pondering whether to go small—you could say tiny, even—on a housing project under consideration.

Carpet Manufacturer Closes Doors

Royalty Carpet Mills Inc., a longtime area carpet manufacturer based in Irvine, has closed, as have several affiliated companies.

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Irvine Co. Adds Quad to Spectrum Development Push

REAL ESTATE: Also has creative-office project next to JWA

Orange County’s dominant office landlord and the area’s most active office developer over the past four years isn’t resting on its laurels, with both a ground-up development and a creative-office renovation project in the works.

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Window Closing For IBC Residential Development

REAL ESTATE: City not keen on more units as 15,000 cap nears

The clock is ticking for residential developers looking to get entitlements for sites in the Irvine Business Complex during the current development boom cycle—and perhaps future cycles.

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Irvine’s Spectrum Takes Lead in Spec Office Projects

Few Such Project Developments Horizon Around Airport

The office market in Irvine around John Wayne Airport was the hub of speculative office development during the last building boom, with four office towers adding 55 floors and about 1.4 million square feet to Orange County’s largest base of high-end buildings between 2007 and 2009.

Local Construction Cos. Post Best Year Since 2009

Employment Totals Now Top Prerecession Levels

Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies showed no signs of a slowdown in activity last year as a variety of large private and public-sector projects helped push revenues to a post-recession high.

New Hotels, Retail Drive Commercial Development

Plenty Under Way, Less Finished Than Prior Year

Orange County’s top commercial real estate developers kept busy last year with a host of retail, hotel and office projects, although the number of buildings nearing the finish line was smaller than the previous few years.

Atlanta Buy Adds to CT Realty’s Industrial Pipeline

JV Buys 213-Acre Site in GA With Seal Beach’s Xebec

Newport Beach-based CT Realty Investors has bought its second massive industrial development site in less than a month after closing on land in Atlanta.