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OCVibe Ups Housing Plans, Cuts Back Office

The backers of OCVibe, a nearly $4 billion undertaking that aims to redevelop close to 100 acres surrounding the Honda Center into a new mixed-use hub with apartments, retail, offices and hotels, are considering revising plans for the mega-development, to potentially add more housing while eliminating one existing office complex.

The OCVibe development group, backed by the Samueli family that owns the Anaheim Ducks, have made early-stage applications with the city of Anaheim that would allow for the demolition of the three-building Arena Corporate Center.

In its place, up to 750 additional housing units could be built, including 15% that would be designated as affordable housing.

OCVibe currently calls for a total of 1,500 residential units to be built.

Officials with the developer, who brand their project as OCV!be, tell the Business Journal that the proposals are designed to “add flexibility” to their plans, given current market conditions, particularly for older offices.

The proposed revisions to OCVibe remain in the early stages of discussion with the city of Anaheim, with a more formal proposal expected to be brought before the city this summer.

Big Buy

H&S Ventures LLC, a vehicle used by Broadcom Chairman Henry Samueli and his wife, Susan, for real estate and other investments, paid a reported $125.5 million for the Arena Corporate Center in 2018.

The deal is the largest real estate buy the Samuelis are reported to have made in the immediate vicinity of the arena where their hockey team plays. The couple bought the Anaheim Ducks for about $75 million in 2005; it’s now worth well over $500 million.

A series of additional real estate buys over the past decade or so gave the Samuelis control of more than 75 acres immediately east of the Orange (57) Freeway, running north from the city’s ARTIC transit station, past Honda Center, to Ball Road.

The low-rise Arena Corporate Center complex, just north of Honda Center, totals about 385,000 square feet. It was built in 2003, according to records from real estate tracker CoStar Group Inc.

The buildings now hold one of Los Angeles-based Platt College’s four campuses in Southern California, as well as offices for UCI Health, the Anaheim Ducks, and others.

Under the initial proposal for OCVibe, Arena Corporate Center was expected to be renovated, with the project centered around a wellness park.

The developer is now reevaluating that iteration of the project, given lessening demand for older offices since the pandemic.

A time frame for demolition of the campus hasn’t been disclosed, and officials note that plans remain in flux.

If a large tenant signed up for a large office lease, a new project at the site of Arena Corporate Center running up 325,000 square feet could still be built, and the proposal for 750 additional housing units would be scaled back.

Early Work

Early-stage infrastructure work is now underway for OCVibe, whose initial concept called for 1.1 million square feet of offices; 230,000 square feet of retail including about three dozen restaurants; 550 hotel rooms; a 5,700-capacity concert venue; plus parks, public space and walkways, alongside the 1,500 mixed-income housing units.

Officials tell the Business Journal that tenant interest remains high for the newer offices proposed at the development, in particular offices built on top of a planned market and food hall.

Alongside the changes to the site that now holds Arena Corporate Center, city filings indicate that the developer is also considering the elimination of one proposed outdoor amphitheater at OCVibe, to be replaced by additional public park space.

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