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Newport Sports Museum Office Sells for Top Price

An office near Fashion Island shopping center that previously held the Newport Sports Museum has sold for what looks to be one of the highest recent prices for an office deal in Orange County per square foot.

An Irvine-based entity operating as Iridium Property Investments LLC recently closed on the purchase of 100 Newport Center Drive, an 11,316-square-foot office on the southern edge of Newport Center. The two-story building traded hands for an estimated $17.5 million, or a little more than $1,500 per square foot, according to CoStar Group Inc.

Just one other office transaction reported for a building of that size or larger in OC in the past five years brought a higher per-square-foot price, according to CoStar’s records. That deal was for a trio of office and retail buildings, plus excess land, along Newport Beach’s Mariner’s Mile that sold for more than $3,000 per square foot in a $71.8 million transaction that closed early this year.

The priciest reported Newport Center office deal per square foot prior to the 100 Newport Center Drive sale over that same time was the 2012 sale of the nearby 1000 Newport Center. The 8,000-square-foot building, which opened in 2008, sold for about $7.4 million, or $927 per square foot, according to CoStar records.

Property records show Iridium Property is managed by Michael Rodgerson, chairman and chief executive of Irvine-based Rogerson Aircraft Corp., a longtime area aviation company.

The seller of the building was a family trust run by veteran Newport Beach real estate developer John Hamilton. He opened the Newport Sports Museum there in 1996 after amassing a private sports memorabilia collection that at one point topped 10,000 items.

The museum closed in 2014, around the time the former Koll Co. executive and developer of properties on Catalina Island auctioned off many of the items.

Tax Dollars at Work

The city of Irvine plans to spend more than $8 million to relocate about 28 employees and excess vehicles from City Hall to a nearby industrial building.

It approved a plan this month to buy 17422 Murphy Ave., a 27,187-square-foot building about three quarters of a mile from City Hall. The property is projected to bring a little more than $7.6 million, or $280 per square foot, according to city filings. It last sold in 2013 for about $3.8 million, according to property records.

The building has been upgraded since the last sale, though $1.6 million has been earmarked for additional renovations following the sale, as well as to upgrade about 3,000 square feet to be vacated at City Hall by the affected employees.

Employees in the city’s Public Safety Department “who do not have direct contact with the public” would move to the facility, according to city documents.

The new facility should satisfy the city’s space needs for the next 10 years, according to city filings, during which time the city plans to consider building a stand-alone police station to replace the one housed at City Hall.

Santa Ana Apartment Flip

Solare Apartments, a 240-unit complex on 17th Street in Santa Ana, traded hands at what looks to be a big jump in price since it last sold in late 2013.

A Los Angeles-based LLC with ties to Irvine-based American Capital Realty Group Inc. recently closed on the purchase, according to property records.

The property sold for about $60.4 million, or a little more than $250,000 per unit, according to CoStar estimates. The buyers assumed a $37 million loan from the sellers, according to property records.

The complex, previously known as Villa Santana, sold in December 2014 for about $41.2 million. That buyer was an affiliate of San Francisco-based Fowler Property Acquisitions LLC.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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