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

Credit Union Eyes Tustin for New HQ

SchoolsFirst Would Likely Be City’s Biggest Employer With 185,000-SF Development

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in California, is eyeing a site in Tustin to build a sizeable new headquarters facility.

One More Mariners Mile Office for Moshayedi Clan

Latest Pushes Area Buys Above $130 Million

The biggest property owners in the Mariners Mile area of Newport Beach have added another building to their holdings.

Lake Forest Homebuilding Steps Out of Shadows

Ongoing Projects, Pipeline Add Slew of New Homes

Lake Forest, despite being in the shadow of California’s two best-selling master-planned communities, has been holding its own during the latest residential building boom.

Olen Eyes Buys After Big Re-Fis

Newport Beach-based Olen Properties Corp. has closed on a big loan for its largest local property—a mixed-use development it owns in Brea—and is close to putting some of the proceeds from that and other recent financing deals into an apartment complex it plans to buy outside Orange County.

IE Cement Magnate Eyes Santa Ana Rentals

A 601-unit apartment project has been proposed for a roughly six-acre site next to the Santa Ana Zoo that sold last year to a wealthy businessman from the Inland Empire.

Top Service, Top Prices at OC’s Latest Luxe Rentals

Irvine Co., Shea Put on The Ritz for Latest Projects

Orange County’s newest batch of luxury apartment communities, which command some of the highest rents ever seen among complexes here, aren’t for renters short on cash.

New-Home Sales Surge to Levels Not Seen Since ‘03

Large Projects Feed 31% Sales Growth

Close to $4 billion was spent on new homes in Orange County last year as builders here posted their best sales year since 2003, thanks to new projects going up at the area’s largest master-planned communities.

Pendulum Property Pays $41.6M for Office in Irvine

REAL ESTATE: Initial buy for firm headed by ex-Lincoln exec

A real estate investment, management and development firm that started operations last year has made an office in Irvine near The Market Place shopping center its first investment.

Gen. William Lyon Steps Down from Homebuilder's Board

Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes said that its namesake and founder, General William Lyon, has stepped down as a director of the company.

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Pacific Hospitality Lists Bacara Resort & Spa for Sale

Paid $185M in ’13; Could Sell for About $250M

Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality Group should make a big profit off the planned sale of one of its high-end properties.

2 Buildings in Airport Area Pegged at $200M+

REAL ESTATE: Emmes Group close to re-entering office market

New York-based Emmes Group of Cos. has been selected to buy the Main Plaza office buildings near John Wayne Airport in what looks to be the first big local office transaction of the year, real estate sources tell the Business Journal.

CoreLogic CEO Takes Temporary Leave

Irvine-based CoreLogic Inc. said that Chief Executive and President Anand Nallathambi is taking a temporary medical leave of absence from the company.

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Panattoni Adds 2nd North OC Site to Industrial Pipeline

REAL ESTATE: 10-acre former farmland fetches $17.7 million

The developer of Orange County’s largest industrial project over the past decade has bought another site along the Anaheim-Placentia city line for what’s planned to be a multibuilding industrial project.

Raintree Adds 2nd Irvine Company Rental to Portfolio

Pays About $43.6M For Tustin’s El Paseo Rentals

Raintree Partners, a Laguna Niguel-based apartment and mixed-use property owner and developer, has added another big rental property in Tustin to its portfolio, thanks to a recent transaction it made with Irvine Company.

Deal Puts Top Tenant Reps Under Same Roof

REAL ESTATE: Cresa OC will shift to Savills Studley brand

Orange County’s two largest commercial real estate brokerages that focus on representing tenants have joined forces.

Irvine Co. Eyes Affordable Rentals

REAL ESTATE: Past Traveland site could hold 1,710 units

Irvine Company is looking to turn the former Traveland USA site on the edge of the Irvine Spectrum area into an apartment development with up to 1,710 units in a project targeting middle-income earners.

Segerstrom Scion's 'Shelby Shrine'

Classic Cars Could Anchor Event Center, Museum

Ted Segerstrom calls his vintage car collection a “Shelby Shrine.”

New Brea Industrial Site Lands Car Parts Wholesaler

REAL ESTATE: 240,000-SF lease fills project on Imperial

An importer and distributor of automotive parts with headquarters in the Bay Area is moving its Southern California regional distribution center from Torrance to a newly built facility in Brea.

Alphaeon Plans to Give Back HQ Space

REAL ESTATE: Shrinkage continues, Lensar to lender

Alphaeon Corp. plans to switch out its glitzy headquarters in Irvine this year for a much smaller location in the area in the latest sign of shrinkage for the lifestyle healthcare company.

Everything Accounted For

Tapped for CFO in 2009; Led IPO, Refis and Buys

Good luck finding a local chief financial officer who’s been part of as many complex transactions—including a corporate restructuring, initial public offering, acquisition push, and a string of big-dollar financing deals—as Colin Severn has during his seven-year tenure at William Lyon Homes.

Liquidmetal Near Deal for Lake Forest Headquarters

Under Contract to Buy Facility for $7.8 Million

Rancho Santa Margarita-based Liquidmetal Technologies Inc., a maker of alloys used in medical devices and consumer electronics, is under contract to buy a larger facility in Lake Forest.

Stowell to Chair Housing Charity

HomeAid America, a Newport Beach-based building industry charity, said CalAtlantic Group Inc. executive chairman Scott Stowell will lead its Board of Directors as Chairman for the next two years.

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Sources Say Deal for Fairmont Close

HOSPITALITY: Group that got Irvine Hilton expected buyer

An investment group that recently bought the Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport hotel on behalf of clients in China is close to making another big hotel purchase near the airport, according to hospitality industry sources.

Irvine Company Eyes For-Sale Homes in Silicon Valley

Plans Submitted for Tech Firm’s Sunnyvale Campus

Broadcom Ltd.’s current office campus at University Research Park in Irvine isn’t the only big Irvine Company-owned site in line for a revamp after being vacated by a semiconductor industry company.

Developers’ Residential Plans Getting Malled

REAL ESTATE: Apartments next to MainPlace latest example here

The new owners of an office building next to MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana have proposed building a 247-unit apartment complex on excess land at their property.

Taylor-Dunn’s Anaheim Manufacturing Site Sold

REAL ESTATE: Deal follows sale of cart maker to Polaris

S&A Management LLC, one of Orange County’s largest privately held property owners, has added another notable investment in Anaheim to its portfolio.

Rare For-Sale Housing Site in IBC Sells for $17.5M

REAL ESTATE: Builder plans 71 townhomes near JWA

One of the few infill residential development sites in the Irvine Business Complex that’s slated for for-sale homes has been sold to a Seattle-based builder.

Fashion Island Luxe Units Come With Record Rents

524-Unit Irvine Co. Site Beginning to Lease Up

Irvine Company is taking the wraps off its latest rental community, a Newport Center complex with some of the highest rents of any large apartment project in Orange County.

Aliso Viejo Grows Up, Moves on to Next Act

Office Market Matures, Pipeline Gives Way to Infill Plans

Orange County’s newest city isn’t so new anymore, least of all its office market.

Wen Adds LoanDepot HQ to Paper Trail

REAL ESTATE: $40M complex joins Sakura, Villa de Formosa

The Foothill Ranch office complex that holds the headquarters of mortgage lender LoanDepot Inc. is the latest notable area commercial property to be bought by a wealthy local investor.

Electrical Contractor In on Anaheim Spec

REAL ESTATE: Rosendin to lease 144,000-SF regional headquarters

The development team planning a sizeable industrial and office facility near the Platinum Triangle has found a tenant for the speculative project just a little more than a month after buying the Anaheim site.

Building Materials Firm Files for IPO

Foundation Building Materials Inc., a Tustin-based distributor of wallboard and suspended ceiling systems, among other items, has filed for an initial public offering.

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Shopoff Adds Office Next to Uptown Newport Site

REAL ESTATE: Property flipped for Spectrum purchase

Irvine-based Shopoff Realty Investments wrapped up an active year of investments by buying a midsized office in Newport Beach close to its massive Uptown Newport residential development that it’s preparing to begin construction on.

Office Rents Near Peak Levels After 8.5% Jump in ‘16

Class B Rents Rise As Cheaper Space Sought

Year-end brokerage statistics show Orange County’s office market is approaching and in some cases exceeding the rental rate highs reached at the top of the last real estate cycle.

Greenlaw Gets Energy Boost with $120M in Buys

REAL ESTATE: Monster Energy execs said to be part of deals

Irvine-based commercial real estate developer Greenlaw Partners, backed by two local high-net-worth investors, capped off an active year of acquisitions with office buys in Santa Ana and Irvine for nearly $120 million.

RSI Communities Buys Beaumont Site

Newport Beach-based homebuilder RSI Communities said it has bought a 228-acre site in the Riverside County city of Beaumont, where it plans to build a 981-home development called Olivewood.

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Olen Strikes Record-Setting Lease for Chicago Tower

REAL ESTATE: $400M+ value for law firm skyscraper deal

Olen Properties Corp. has signed its largest and most valuable lease ever while keeping its anchor tenant in place at a skyscraper the Newport Beach-based real estate company owns in Chicago.

Bascom Adds More Las Vegas Rentals With 2 Buys

$47.5M for 2 Deals; Now Has 9,100 Units There

Irvine-based apartment investor and operator Bascom Group has added two rental properties in Las Vegas to its already sizeable portfolio there.

Irvine Company Carves 4 Rentals Out for Rare Sales

REAL ESTATE: Fountain Valley, SD sites sell, 2 more planned

The apartment portfolio of Newport Beach-based Irvine Company—the largest owner of rental properties in Orange County and in the state—is slightly smaller after the sale of two Southern California complexes, including one in Fountain Valley.

OC Master Planned Projects Add to National Stature

REAL ESTATE: Irvine Ranch No. 1 in U.S.; 4 locals in top 20

Orange County is one of the most supply-constrained markets in the U.S. for new home development, but you wouldn’t know that based on the surge of sales at the region’s four largest sources of new homes last year.

Panattoni Buys 7-Acre Parcel in Anaheim From City

REAL ESTATE: $10.2 million for city-owned land along I-5

The developer of the Anaheim Concourse industrial campus has closed on the purchase of another, smaller development site near the Platinum Triangle.

Law Firm Takes Top Floor of Century Centre in Irvine

17,500 SF Murtaugh Meyer Nelson Lease

Law firm Murtaugh Meyer Nelson & Treglia LLP is moving its practice up a few floors at the Century Centre office complex in Irvine.

Local Investor Unveils Plans for QLogic Campus

REAL ESTATE: Gets 3 buildings, 161,000 SF in Aliso Viejo for $36M

A local investor has acquired the QLogic Corp. campus in Aliso Viejo and is planning to rebrand the site in preparation of the networking products maker vacating the three-building property this year.

Real Estate: Ray Lawler

Led Hines Through Busy 2016; Intersect in Wings for This Year

The Newport Beach office of Hines Interests LP had a blockbuster year, with a steady stream of notable property acquisitions, sales, leasing news, and redevelopment activity.

Garden Communities Eyes 876 Rentals Next to JWA

REAL ESTATE: Plans filed for trilogy site it bought a year ago

San Diego-based Garden Communities of California has disclosed plans for its third big apartment development in Irvine, an 876-unit complex next to John Wayne Airport.

Modified Mainstream at Source

Food, Entertainment Main Draws at New Retail Landmark in Buena Park

Visitors to Buena Park’s soon-to-open retail center, The Source, next year should have the chance to check out a movie in a theater that incorporates interactive special effects, relax at a spa, play a round of virtual-reality golf, and sample fare from across the globe at a variety of restaurants unique to the area.

North OC Business Parks Get NorCal Owners

$46.5M Spent on 2 Sites That Last Sold for $34.1M

One of the largest business parks in Yorba Linda has been bought by an investor in San Francisco.

State Fund Office in Santa Ana Sold to Investor

REAL ESTATE: Caltrans’ new space last sold for $40M in 2014

A Chicago-based real estate investor that buys commercial properties leased to government agencies has bought the State Fund office in Santa Ana, bringing its 2016 Orange County acquisitions tally past the $120 million mark.

2017 Preview: REAL ESTATE

Is the clock ticking on Orange County’s real estate market?

PIMCO Plans More Property Buys with New Fund

REAL ESTATE: $818M raised in past month for BRAVO III

Pacific Investment Management Co. has raised more than $800 million in recent weeks for a new fund that will invest largely in real estate-oriented assets.