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

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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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.

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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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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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.

Incipio Moving HQ, Preps New LA Retail Site

TECHNOLOGY: Device accessory firm eyes ‘transaction’

Incipio Group is changing its skin.

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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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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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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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.

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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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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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.

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.

UCI Retail Center Adding New Amazon Shop to Mix

Campus-Centric Target Store Opened in Summer

Irvine Co. has landed Amazon after all.

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.

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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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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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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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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$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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KBS Realty Looks to Asia for Latest REIT

REAL ESTATE: SGX offering would follow Tel Aviv debt

KBS Realty Advisors appears to be going out-of-country again to raise money for a new real estate fund.

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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IRWD Sells Serrano Summit, Keeps Anaheim Rentals

Says Bascom Bid Of $131M Far Off Mark

This month’s sale of the 82-acre Serrano Summit development site in Lake Forest is the most expensive reported land sale in Orange County this year.

RSI Adds to Texas Pipeline, Gets OK for 1,500 Homes

Plans 35 Communities In SoCal, Texas This Year

Newport Beach-based RSI Communities LLC has added another large development site in Texas to its growing homebuilding portfolio.

Lake Forest Land Sells for $177M

Serrano Site to Lennar; LandSea Sells Some Land to KB Home

Two of the largest residential development sites in Lake Forest have changed hands within a few days of each other in a pair of land transactions valued at nearly $177 million combined.

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Beer Mecca: ‘Brewing District’ Eyed in Anaheim

120-Room Hotel Also on Tap, 92,000 SF of Retail

A Los Angeles-based developer wants to turn a roughly 13-acre site near the Anaheim resort district into a Disneyland of sorts, for beer lovers.

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Irvine Co. Making Serious Push for Amazon HQ2

The Irvine Co. said it’s making a serious push to bring Amazon to Irvine for the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters, and has enlisted its former No. 2 executive to lead the project.

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Key West Lands 2nd Big OC Investor in a Month

Passco Apartment Buy Follows Sunstone Deal

It’s a nearly 2,900-mile trip from Orange County to Key West, Fla., site of the southernmost point in the continental United States.

Anaheim Distribution Building Brings Top Dollar

REAL ESTATE: DCT buys former PacSun facility for $56M

A real estate investment trust in Denver has bought a big distribution center in Anaheim in one of the most expensive deals on record for an older industrial property in North Orange County.

Irvine Slow-Growth Measure Targets Area Developers

BALLOT BOX: Similar to Costa Mesa; aiming for ’18 vote

A slow-growth ballot measure has been proposed for Irvine, which if passed would quickly put a chill on development for Orange County’s third largest and fastest-growing city.

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Familiar Names Buy Broadcom Campus

REAL ESTATE: Starwood, Rockpoint invest in Irvine site

Regulatory documents are shedding a bit more light on FivePoint Communities Inc.’s blockbuster purchase of Broadcom Ltd.’s four-building, 73-acre campus under construction at Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine this month.

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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Plans for Mixed-Use Project in Little Saigon Unveiled

Hotel, Apartments, Retail And Festival Street Eyed

Plans for a big mixed-use development in the Little Saigon area of Westminster have been unveiled by the project’s local design team.

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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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.

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.”

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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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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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.

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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