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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

SEC Scrutiny Sinks Wealth Advisers’ Funds

FINANCE: 27 fund affiliates file for bankruptcy

More than two dozen investment fund affiliates of a Laguna Hills-based wealth adviser have filed for bankruptcy amid disclosures that federal and state regulatory authorities are investigating the adviser.

S. Coast Metro Offices Sell for Nearly $60M

REAL ESTATE: Cress Capital Makes 2nd OC Buy in a Year

Sandpointe at MacArthur Place, a two-building office site in the South Coast Metro area of Santa Ana, has been sold to a local investor in a deal that looks to be worth nearly $60 million.

JWA Landmark: 2-Tower Project Eyed for MacArthur

A local commercial real estate investor and developer has unveiled plans for a two-tower commercial development across the street from John Wayne Airport in Irvine.

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St. Joseph Office Tower in Anaheim Sells for $58.9M

REAL ESTATE: Old AT&T site last sold in 2014 for $18M

One of the largest offices in downtown Anaheim has sold at a big markup to its prior valuation, the latest sign of revitalization for the area around Anaheim’s city hall.

Florida Hotel Investor Makes 2nd Buy in Orange

REAL ESTATE: Ecclestone pays $42.4M for Embassy

A Florida-based hotel investor whose chief executive was one of President Donald Trump’s biggest financial backers during the election cycle has made its second big purchase in the city of Orange.

Shopoff’s May in LA: Mobile Homes, Golf, Land

2 Buys, One Sale There Total More Than $100M

Irvine-based Shopoff Realty Investments has completed two purchases and a sale in Los Angeles County over the past month valued at more than $100 million.

Spectrum Security: Cylance to New Tower

REAL ESTATE: Company’s Irvine lease OC’s largest so far this year

Security software maker Cylance Inc. plans to consolidate its local operations at the soon-to-open 400 Spectrum Center office tower in the Irvine Spectrum.

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Edwards Lifesciences Expands HQ With Buy

REAL ESTATE: Pays $18.5M for two-story office on Alton Pkwy.

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has bought a midsized building next to its headquarters that’s under expansion in Irvine.

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Virtual Marina

Oculus Co-Founder Luckey Buys HB Bay Club

Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey has bought a marina in Huntington Beach.

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CT Realty Plans NorCal Industrial Project

REAL ESTATE: Area’s largest spec building in first phase

Newport Beach-based CT Realty Investors is planning one of the largest speculative industrial developments in Northern California in years after buying a big chunk of land in the Central Valley city of Stockton.

Stillwater Looks Inland With $38M Riverside Buy

REAL ESTATE: Two offices at nearly full capacity

Irvine-based Stillwater Investment Group, an investor in office, industrial, apartment and retail properties that began operations in 2014, has made its largest acquisition of the year in one of the most prominent office properties in the city of Riverside.

Porsche Dealership is Spectrum’s Latest Auto Addition

57,000 SF Site Few Miles From New Karma HQ

Karma Automotive LLC isn’t the only high-end car company making notable real estate moves in the Irvine Spectrum area.

$443M Would Make FivePoint Broadcom Landlord

The $443 million sale of Broadcom Ltd.’s campus under construction in Irvine would be Orange County’s biggest office transaction in a decade.

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Luxe Hotel Planned Near Disneyland Resort

REAL ESTATE: Site just off 5 to hold 300 rooms, rooftop bar

A 3.4-acre site just east of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Anaheim is being considered for a four-diamond hotel, the latest luxury hospitality project proposed for the area around the Anaheim Resort district.

Intracorp Grows IBC For-Sale Holdings With 2nd Buy

Meritage Sells One Gillette Ave. Site, Buys Another

Meritage Homes appears to be a move-up buyer when it comes to development sites on one street in the Irvine Business Complex.

Katella Ave. Developers Go West to Cypress, Los Al

60 Acres in Play for New Homes, Retail Projects

A roughly two-mile stretch of land along Katella Avenue in Anaheim could well be considered the hub of infill redevelopment in Orange County.

FivePoint Communities Goes Public

FivePoint Communities Inc., the Aliso Viejo-based real estate developer that’s running Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods and other large housing projects in the state, completed its initial public offering on Wednesday, raising close to $300 million.

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FivePoint Eyes Buyback of Broadcom Campus

FivePoint Communities Inc. confirmed it is considering buying back the under-construction campus of Broadcom Ltd. at Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods.

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UCI Looks to Add Housing for 2,300 More Students

New Project Would Bring Its Total to 16,341 Beds

The University of California-Irvine is pursuing plans to add another big batch of student housing to its campus.

TRI Pointe Looks Local to Boost Sales, Value

REAL ESTATE: Builder sees SoCal land as key to raise stock

TRI Pointe Group Inc. has embraced a business-as-usual, California-first approach to its operations following its recent breakup with former majority stakeholder Starwood Capital Group Inc.

New AC Hotel in Park Place Opens, Sells for $53.7M

Pacific Hospitality Takes Over; Deal Signed in 2016

Irvine’s newest hotel, Park Place’s AC Hotel, has a per-room value topping some of the most established hotels in the area around John Wayne Airport, based on a reading of newly filed property records.

Emmes to Put Latest OC Office Buy Center Stage

The new owners of the Main Plaza office buildings in Irvine are planning an extensive overhaul of their latest Orange County investment, even after spending nearly $200 million to buy the airport-area towers.

FivePoint IPO Would Raise Millions, Add to Ownership Complexity

REAL ESTATE: Developer has 37.5% stake in Great Park land

FivePoint Communities Inc.’s transition into a publicly traded company will make its executive team rich and provide plenty of financial cover for the next housing downturn. It should also free up plenty of cash for future real estate acquisitions in and out of Orange County.

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FivePoint Updates Terms of IPO

FivePoint Communities Inc. could raise nearly $600 million from its forthcoming initial public offering and a trio of concurrent private placement deals, according to new regulatory documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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$56M Impac Mortgage Deal Involves Local Ties

FINANCE: Pickup family members boost stake with buy

Local real estate and private equity investors Richard and Todd Pickup have increased their already sizeable stakes in Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. following a $56 million stock sale by the Irvine-based lender.

Sites Near 55 Freeway Eyed for Industrial, Chick-Fil-A

ITT Campus Along Dyer Could Get 9 Buildings

Big changes could be in the works for a large industrial property just off the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway in Santa Ana.

4000 MacArthur Office Property in NB on Block

REAL ESTATE: Offices home to Hyundai, could get $200M

The 4000 MacArthur office complex in Newport Beach is for sale again in what could prove to be Orange County’s largest office transaction so far this year.

$130M Sale of JCP’s Buena Park Site Sets New Mark

1.1M-SF Distribution Center Amid Biggest Here

CenterPoint Properties has closed on the buy of J.C. Penney Co.’s massive logistics and distribution facility in Buena Park in one of the largest industrial sales in Orange County in years.

TRI Pointe Stock Performance Slammed by Starwood

REAL ESTATE: Ex-majority owner knocks plan on way out

An eight-year partnership between Irvine-based homebuilder TRI Pointe Group Inc. and its former majority shareholder ended on an unexpected sour note.

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New Home Preps 275 Acres in Corona

REAL ESTATE: Bedford project to hold 1,200+, 400 in 1st phase

The New Home Co. Inc., one of the most active builders on the Irvine Ranch and other area master-planned communities owned by Orange County’s largest landowners, is turning the tables for a new project it has in the works just over the Riverside County line in Corona.

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Revamped Kaleidoscope Shopping Center Up for Sale

Sold for $22M in 2010, Now About 82% Full

Mission Viejo’s Kaleidoscope shopping center is for sale.

Irvine Co. Thinks Small With Spectrum Purchase

REAL ESTATE: $58M for 19 buildings beside Broadcom

Irvine Company has bought a low-rise office campus in the shadow of Broadcom Ltd.’s new office campus in the Irvine Spectrum.

Hines Looks to Add Rentals, Hotel to Brea Site

REAL ESTATE: Latest project planned for site next to mall

Hines Interests LP is the latest big office owner in Orange County looking to add apartment development to its local repertoire.

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Karma Auto Owners Pay $56M for Irvine HQ

REAL ESTATE: Revero maker leased last year, but yet to move

Karma Automotive LLC is embracing a lease-to-own strategy, for its local real estate holdings, at least.

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Brisk Sales Boost Bottom Line of CRE Brokerages

Volume Rises 8%; Lease Deals Down 3%

A brisk pace of building, apartment and land sales helped overcome some sluggish leasing activity in Orange County last year. The bottom line: another year of gains for the area’s largest commercial brokerages.

Development Buoys OC Property Managers’ Books

Top Firms’ Local Accounts Approach 200 Million SF

A dose of development helped Orange County’s largest commercial property managers grow their local portfolios for the fifth straight year.

Bascom Goes Big With $94M Rental Purchase

REAL ESTATE: Villas at Tustin buyer’s largest here

Irvine-based apartment investor Bascom Group LLC has made its largest ever acquisition in Orange County, picking up a 406-unit rental complex in Santa Ana.

OC Office Developers Aim to Backfill Existing Space

Some 1.5M SF of Big Blocks of Space Available

Three of the area’s biggest owners of high-end office space in Orange County, Irvine Company, LBA Realty, and Hines Interests LP—have proposed a handful of local office projects totaling close to 750,000 square feet for the area around John Wayne Airport and the Irvine Spectrum.

Five Point IPO Still in Works, Says Lennar CEO

First Proposed in ’15, Deal Slowed by Choppy Market

Aliso Viejo-based Five Point Holdings Inc., the master developer of Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine and other large projects in California, hasn’t abandoned its plans for an initial public offering, according to one of the company’s largest investors.