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

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 226

Recent Stories

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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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.

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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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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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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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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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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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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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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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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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.

Incipio Moving HQ, Preps New LA Retail Site

TECHNOLOGY: Device accessory firm eyes ‘transaction’

Incipio Group is changing its skin.

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.

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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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.

‘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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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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Device Maker Vyaire Plans Irvine Move, Hiring Push

Yorba Linda CareFusion Ops Moving to Spectrum

One of the biggest medical device firms in Orange County plans a major expansion and hiring push after signing a deal to move its local operations from Yorba Linda to an office project being built in the Irvine Spectrum.

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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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.

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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Vantis Office in Aliso Viejo Trades for $53.6 Million

Shea Properties Sells Site To Brookhollow Group

Shea Properties has sold one of two large offices it built and owned at its 40-acre Vantis mixed-use campus in Aliso Viejo.

Cushman Lands Ten-X Exec To Run OC, IE Offices

Based in Irvine Office Of CRE Brokerage

Cushman & Wakefield Inc. has named a former executive of Irvine-based auction firm Ten-X LLC to run its Orange County and Inland Empire offices.

Self-Storage Investor Aims to Be Big Man on Campus

REAL ESTATE: Student housing a focus for $1.1B REIT

Ladera Ranch-based SmartStop Asset Management LLC, one of the country’s most active investors in the self-storage industry, is looking to tackle a new sector of the real estate market: student housing properties next to schools with big football programs.

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Marriott's Main Man

Olson’s Lido, Irvine Hotels Prep to Open

A mid-September tour of the under-construction Lido House Hotel in Newport Beach has turned into an impromptu architectural design review for Bob Olson.

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Huntington Beach Waterfront Site In Line for Reboot

REAL ESTATE: Peter’s Landing sells for $33M

Peter’s Landing Marina, a retail and office property on Pacific Coast Highway overlooking Huntington Harbour, is in line for a makeover after being acquired by an upstart investment firm in Irvine.

UCI Retail Center Adding New Amazon Shop to Mix

Campus-Centric Target Store Opened in Summer

Irvine Co. has landed Amazon after all.

New Bloom: Orange’s Village Nurseries Nears Sale

REAL ESTATE: 500 acres in SoCal; nearly $74M price cited

Orange-based wholesale and retail plant and tree growing business Village Nurseries, which owns more than 500 acres in Southern California, is nearing a court-overseen sale to a Texas-based firm.

Muller Brings in New P.E. Fund for 3 Area Towers

REAL ESTATE: $232M combined price for recapitalization

Laguna Hills-based Muller Co., in a recapitalization deal valued at nearly $232 million, has brought on a new financial partner for three area high-rise offices it owns and operates.

PHG Sells Bacara

Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality Group has sold of one of its high-end hotel properties, Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara County.

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LA Towers Fetch $441M for NB Sellers

REAL ESTATE: AT&T site in Pasadena; DTLA KBS tower

Newport Beach real estate investors Saunders Property Co. and KBS Realty Advisors are cashing out of a pair of office towers in Los Angeles County to the tune of $441.5 million.

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Essex Sells Mission Viejo Rentals, Sounds OC Alarm

$83M Sale of Madrid To 2nd San Mateo Investor

Two San Mateo-based apartment investors have swapped ownership of a big rental complex in Mission Viejo: 230-unit Madrid on Los Alisos Boulevard, just south of the 241 Toll Road.

Feds Look to Seize Irvine Building Amid Metals Probe

REAL ESTATE: Complaint follows Business Journal report

One of the most prominent industrial buildings in the area around John Wayne Airport, the 2323 Main St. building in Irvine, now has a for-lease sign up after years of turning away potential tenants.

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$106M for Largest La Palma Office Complex

Greenlaw, Westbrook JV Buy 10-Building Campus

Centerpointe La Palma, the largest office complex in North Orange County, has traded hands in a $106.1 million deal.

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Bren Adds Clout to Irvine Amazon Bid

City’s Proposal Not On Top of Pundits’ Lists

At first glance, Irvine’s attempt to woo Amazon for the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters carries about the same long odds as Larry Agran’s quixotic presidential bid in 1992.

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Olen Adds 9-Story NB Tower

3rd Big Office Sale in City Since August

Olen Properties Corp. has added a prominent office tower in its hometown of Newport Beach to its growing real estate portfolio.

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