Orange County Business Journal

New Drive for Buchanan Street

Founders Back to Majority Stake, Take on Creative-Campus Project

The purchase of a creative-office campus in its hometown has capped off a period of reinvention for Newport Beach-based Buchanan Street Partners.

Irvine Co. Bolsters Plans for Spectrum Campus

REAL ESTATE: Seeks city OK for 1.5 million SF midrise project

The Irvine Company has expanded its plans for an office campus that’s been envisioned as a new home for chipmaker Broadcom Corp. near the Irvine Spectrum.

Angel Stadium Drama No Curveball for Apartment Developers

REAL ESTATE: Platinum Triangle could have 1,400 units in works soon

Uncertainty over the long-term future of Angel Stadium as the centerpiece of Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle hasn’t stopped apartment developers from pushing ahead with new projects in the area.

Bankrupt Chain Would Leave Retail Hole in Its Wake

18-Year-Old Easy Life Has 14 Stores, HQ

The companywide liquidation of Buena Park-based furniture chain Easy Life Furniture Inc. is likely to leave a sizable hole in retail space across Southern California, not to mention a vacant warehouse in the company’s hometown.

OC Properties Prominent in $1.4B CMBS Package

REAL ESTATE: Deal sheds light on recent gains at retail center, 2 hotels

Orange County has an outsized role in the commercial mortgage-backed securities market these days, with the Outlets at Orange shopping center and a pair of hotels near the Disneyland Resort backing one of the largest transactions in what has been a sluggish market so far this year.

Tower Plan Adds to Downtown Design for Irvine Spectrum

REAL ESTATE: Office, apartments resemble shift in Newport Center

The Irvine Spectrum is expected to see construction of its first new office tower in seven years begin later this year, adding to an already heavy dose of new development in the immediate area.

Seal Beach Dendreon Plant Sells for $21.1 Million

Downsized Company Still Under Long-Term Lease

The Seal Beach plant used by drug maker Dendreon Corp. has been sold to a Los Angeles-based industrial property investor.

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Easy Life Furniture to Shutter Operations

Buena Park-based furniture chain Easy Life Furniture Inc. has filed for bankruptcy and plans to liquidate its operations over the next two months.

GG Fronts 12 Acres, $50M in Bonds for Hotel

REAL ESTATE: Plans include 603-room hotel, water park

The development of a hotel and water park that’s been four years in the making on Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove is set to move ahead following a land transfer and a new investor in the development.

Allergan HQ in Line for Brunt of Cuts Under Valeant Deal

ECONOMY: R&D furloughs most likely if $47B sale goes through

Steep cutbacks in the research and development staff of Allergan Inc. would likely be the most immediate local byproduct of the Irvine-based drug maker’s $47 billion sale to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. if the hostile takeover comes to pass.

RREEF Owners Back to Buying OC Office Properties

Deutsche Asset & Wealth Pays $20.4M for Center

German investment giant Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, one of Orange County’s larger office owners, has made its first local real estate purchase in seven years.

Apartment Investor Buys Laguna Niguel Business Park

REAL ESTATE: $4.7M per acre for site entitled for residential

A Phoenix-based apartment investor has paid a reported $24.1 million for a four-building business park in Laguna Niguel that was recently entitled for a multifamily project.

OC Office Sales Pass $400 Million Mark in First Quarter

First Time Milestone Met Here in Seven Years

The recent $129 million sale of the Griffin Towers office complex in Santa Ana capped off a memorable period for big-dollar office sales in Orange County.

2600 Michelson Hits Market in Search of 9-Figure Price Tag

REAL ESTATE: Days of distress over; seller could get $340 PSF

The 2600 Michelson tower in Irvine has hit the sales market, the latest local office property expected to sell for more than $100 million.

$89 Million for LH Apartments

REAL ESTATE: $247,000 per unit for 16-acre complex near 5

The sale of a 360-unit apartment complex in Laguna Hills looks to be the priciest multifamily transaction seen in Orange County so far this year.

Healthcare Startup to Move Into Lakeshore Towers

REAL ESTATE: Alphaeon’s plan counts on cash-pay lines

Alphaeon Corp., a startup lifestyle healthcare company that’s gotten notice as a potential candidate for an initial public offering later this year, has signed a deal to move its growing operations to the Lakeshore Towers office complex in Irvine.

Placentia Infill Home Site Approved, Goes to Market

HQT Homes Planned 78 Houses at Former Farm

Schaner Ranch, an 8-acre infill site in Placentia recently approved for home development, is on the sales block.

Apartment Boom Helped Fuel Opus Bank’s Rise

FINANCE: Biggest in assets gives details in IPO filing

Add Irvine-based Opus Bank to the list of local landlords, developers, land owners and other companies benefiting from the red-hot apartment market of recent years.

Allergan Additions Expected Near Irvine Campus

REAL ESTATE: Said close on buys of 2 buildings for 68,500 SF

Allergan Inc. is nearing a deal to buy a pair of office properties across the street from its headquarters in Irvine, according to real estate sources.

CDM, South Coast Metro Sales Come at High Price

Retail Properties Bring $520 Per SF and Higher

A pair of smaller-sized retail properties in Corona del Mar and Santa Ana have changed hands at eye-catching prices.

Anaheim Industrial Property Goes for $27.2M

REAL ESTATE: Biggest industrial spec sale in years

A recently built industrial facility in Anaheim just outside the Platinum Triangle has been sold to a logistics company that is expanding its local operations.

Top Public Cos. Total $134B on 18.7% Gain in Market Cap

ECONOMY: Allergan No. 1 again; Western Digital adds $9.6B

Orange County’s largest publicly traded companies combined for a cool $20 billion boost to their market valuations over the past year, thanks to strong gains by Allergan Inc. and Western Digital Corp., the largest representatives of the local healthcare and technology sectors.

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Taylor Morrison Venture Buying San Clemente's Marblehead Site

Taylor Morrison Home Corp. is buying San Clemente’s Marblehead residential development.

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Taylor Morrison Venture Buying San Clemente's Marblehead Site

Taylor Morrison Home Corp. is buying San Clemente’s Marblehead residential development.

No IPO, No Problem for City Ventures

REAL ESTATE: Homebuilder raises $345 million with land sales

City Ventures Inc. has shown that there are other ways to raise money, even as some fellow Orange County-based homebuilders have opted to join a recent trend of initial public offerings.

Santa Ana Apartment Buys Add Up for Fowler Property

SF Investor on 6-Month Spending Spree in OC

San Francisco-based apartment investor Fowler Property Acquisitions LLC is approaching nearly $100 million in purchases in Santa Ana over the past six months.

Property Managers Build Portfolios in Brisk Market

Two Dominate, Group Combines for 8.7% Jump

A flurry of large office purchases by institutional investors, a smattering of development, and new out-of-town accounts helped boost the bottom lines of Orange County’s largest commercial property managers last year.

Bixby Gets 7-Building Campus in Silicon Valley

REAL ESTATE: $110M buy eyed for creative makeover, near new stadium

Irvine-based Bixby Land Co. has bought a seven-building office campus in Silicon Valley, the commercial real estate developer and investor’s largest acquisition in nearly seven years.

Big-Dollar Sales Drove Brokerage Gains Last Year

About $18B In Sales, Leases Result In Nearly 14% Jump

Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages continued to benefit from investor interest in local properties in 2013, and to a lesser extent, tenant demand.

Will Others Follow Irvine Company Rent Hikes?

REAL ESTATE: Landlord seeks biggest jumps since recession

The Irvine Company, Orange County’s dominant office landlord, appears to be undertaking its most aggressive office rent hikes for its local buildings in years.

Brady, Vorwerck Shutdown Puts Lawyers on Move

LAW: Partner wanted religious practice; firm in lease litigation

Orange County’s legal scene has experienced one of its largest shake-ups in half a dozen years following the dissolution of Orange-based Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder and Caspino.

Ritz-Carlton Sale Talk Cools as Business Improves

Deal With Shareholder Comes Amid Stock Gains

A potential sale of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel appears to be on the back burner after the owner of the Dana Point luxury resort reached a truce with a large shareholder that had been pushing for the company to consider shedding assets.

Vorwerck Shutdown Puts Lawyers on Move

LAW: Partner wanted religious practice; firm in lease litigation

Orange County’s legal scene has experienced one of its largest shake-ups in half a dozen years following the dissolution of Orange-based Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder and Caspino.

Next for New Home Co.: 130 Acres in Corona

REAL ESTATE: Expected to pay $74M for land near 15 Freeway

The New Home Co. is closing in on the purchase of a nearly 130-acre, 1,200-home development site in Corona, one of several projects now in the works for the Aliso Viejo-based homebuilder following its recent initial public offering.

Irvine Co. Nears Blockbuster Lease in Santa Clara

Ericsson Eyes 440,000 SF in Silicon Valley Project

Newport Beach-based Irvine Company is making more waves in the Silicon Valley office market, with a blockbuster lease for a development reportedly in the works.

Nonlocal Investors Drive Top Real Estate Sales in 2013

Distressed Deals Down, Development on Comeback

Nonlocal investors produced the bulk of activity last year in Orange County’s commercial real estate market, the first year since the onset of the recession that distressed deals didn’t make up a large portion of sales activity.

Title Insurers Turn to Buys As Refinancings Dry Up

Interest Rate Hikes Bring 13% Decline in Business

Business for Orange County’s largest title insurers took a step back in 2013 as rising interest rates brought about a steep drop in refinance work during the second half of the year.

Mitsubishi Electric to Consolidate in HB

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Inc. plans to consolidate its regional operations in Huntington Beach.

Marblehead Land Back on Block?

REAL ESTATE: Taylor Morrison said to have 2nd thoughts on $215M price

The land set to hold the high-end Marblehead coastal housing development in San Clemente looks to be back in play, now that the homebuilder initially tapped to buy the 195.5-acre site has apparently gotten cold feet over the price.

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Standard Pacific CEO Stowell Joins Pacific Mutual Board

Scott Stowell, chief executive officer and president of Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp., has been named to the board of Newport Beach’s Pacific Mutual Holding Co., the ultimate parent company of Pacific Life Insurance Co.

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Mitsubishi Electric Moving to Huntington Beach

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Inc. plans to consolidate its regional operations in Huntington Beach.

DJM Hears Skeptics, Gets ‘Aggressive’ on Pacific City

REAL ESTATE: Joins list of OC retail projects in works

DJM Capital Partners Inc. has more than a big hole to fill along Pacific Coast Highway when it comes to its long-awaited Pacific City retail project in Huntington Beach.

Uptown Newport Alters Ownership, Moves Ahead

Shopoff Buys Out DRA, Brings in Picerne Group

The Uptown Newport mixed-use development on Jamboree Road is preparing for its first major round of construction following a few changes in ownership for the high-visibility Newport Beach project.

Verizon Job Cuts Prompt Give-Back on Lease

REAL ESTATE: Irvine Company to redo 2 of 5 Spectrum buildings

A portion of the regional headquarters of Verizon Wireless in the Irvine Spectrum will be converted into a multitenant office park, a result of the telecom’s recent decision to trim its local head count by more than 40%.

Affliction Exec Buys Observatory Theater in Santa Ana

$10M Deal Includes 47,319-SF Office

A cofounder of apparel company Affliction Inc. has bought the Santa Ana building that holds the Observatory OC concert venue where he’s an investor, as well as an adjacent office.

Equity Office Eyes Addition to Portfolio in South Coast Metro

REAL ESTATE: Deal for Santa Ana towers pegged at nearly $130M

The office division of private equity giant Blackstone Group is poised to become one of the two largest landlords in the South Coast Metro business district, based on an impending deal for the Griffin Towers office complex in Santa Ana.

Homebuilders Post 90% Jump, Most Sales Since ’04

Orange County homebuilders last year posted their best year for sales since 2004, buoyed by the opening of several masterplanned communities, as well as continued strong sales on the Irvine Ranch. Includes the 2014 OC's LARGEST HOMEBUILDERS list for download (pdf)

National Builders Turn Focus Back to OC

Big Deals for Notable Sites Reflect Confidence in Recovery

National builders have their eyes on Orange County again.

Homebuilders Stage Local IPO Resurgence

3 Builders Went Public, $670M in Proceeds to Spend

Wall Street cash is making its way back to Orange County’s homebuilding industry after a brief hiatus.

Mesa Cold Storage Buys Fullerton Buildings for $16.2M

209,000 Square Feet For Food Processing, Storage

Mesa Cold Storage, a logistics company that specializes in temperature-controlled facilities, has purchased the buildings that hold its Fullerton operations.