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Irvine Ranch Retains Top Spot for Local Home Sales

The Irvine Ranch retained its ranking as the second best-selling master-planned community in the country last year, according to a new report by Irvine-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

The numerous neighborhoods on the Ranch where homebuilding took place last year—including Orchard Hills, Cypress Village, Portola Springs and Stonegate—had a combined 1,674 sales last year.

That’s a 17% increase from year-ago levels, according to the housing consultancy’s latest rankings of the country’s 20 best-selling master-planned communities.

The Villages, a retirement community in Sumter County, Fla., retained the top rank again last year, with 2,294 sales, a 12% decline year-over-year.

Newport Beach-based Irvine Company’s local housing developments have been second in the U.S. to the Villages for several years running in terms of total sales.

The Irvine Ranch was the only Orange County project to make the top 20 list this year and one of just two California projects to rank. The other was Valencia in Los Angeles County—No. 16, with 444 sales—a project managed by Aliso Viejo-based FivePoint Communities.

Rancho Mission Viejo and Five Point’s Great Park Neighborhoods, which both made the 2014 edition of the list, kicked off sales at the second phases of their developments in the latter half of 2015 after selling out their first neighborhoods.

Irvine Co., in addition to its existing projects, is expected to bring one new housing community online in 2017: Eastwood Village near the intersection of Jeffery Road and Irvine Boulevard.

Surf City Sale

A Huntington Beach industrial building that’s leased to Driessen Aircraft Interior Systems Inc. has traded hands at a big premium compared to its last sale.

Rexford Industrial Realty Inc., a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust, recently closed on the purchase of 17311 Nichols Lane, a 102,700-square-foot industrial building near the intersection of Slater Avenue and Gothard Street.

The building sold for $17.1 million, or about $149 per square foot, by a venture between Newport Beach-based CT Realty and Artemis Real Estate Partners in Chevy Chase, Md., which paid $10.6 million for the property when it was being vacated in mid-2013.

At the time of that purchase, CT Realty and Artemis landed Driessen, which makes galleys for commercial and private aircraft, as a tenant for the building under a 10-year deal valued at about $9.1 million.

Driessen is a unit of France-based Zodiac Aerospace and uses the Nichols Lane property as its main West Coast engineering and production site for airline interiors and related equipment.

The facility “represents a mission-critical, difficult to replicate location for the in-place credit tenant on a long-term lease,” Rexford officials said in a statement.

Rexford owns 120 properties in Southern California that total about 12 million rentable square feet. The REIT said its portfolio has increased in size by 21% over the past year.

Playing the Slots

Newport Beach-based Panattoni Development has bought a 38-acre office and warehouse property in Las Vegas from slot machine company International Game Technology.

The property includes about 610,000 square feet of office, warehouse and manufacturing facility space. It sold for about $75 million, according to local news reports.

Brokers with the Los Angeles and Las Vegas offices of Colliers International worked on the sale and lease-back of the property, which is in southwest Las Vegas about four miles west of the city’s airport.

Panattoni is leasing back a three-story office portion of the property to International Game Technology under a long-term lease and plans to reposition the remainder of the property for multiple tenants.

International Game Technology put the campus on the market for sale last year following its $6.4 billion merger with Italian lottery provider Gtech Holdings.

The acquisition “is a rare opportunity and allowed us to significantly increase our holdings in Southern Nevada,” said Doug Roberts, a partner in Panattoni’s Las Vegas office.

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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