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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024
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Lunch Plans?

In a survey sent out to members of the latest edition of the OC500, we asked, among other questions, who in Orange County those members would most want to sit down with for a lunch, and why.

Only two people got multiple votes. Mike Trout got the nod from two respondents. Fellow Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani got none, while club owner Arte Moreno got one request.

With nearly a dozen requests for a lunch meeting, Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren should have no trouble filling up a table at the restaurants of his Pelican Hill Resort, where he frequently dines.

Bren “is so fundamental to Orange County, and one of the most strategic thinkers of our time,” said Solis Capital’s Dan Lubeck, who was master of ceremonies for the Business Journal’s 2021 CFO of the Year Awards event.

“His singular ability to shape the development of the entire city of Irvine across housing, recreation, offices, and quality of life is an unparalleled feat of master community planning,” added RLH Equity PartnersMurray Rudin, who was master of ceremonies for our 2022 edition of the CFO of the Year Awards.

For more thoughts on potential lunch dates, favorite dining spots, biggest local news items of the past year and more, peruse the latest edition of the OC500, a stand-alone publication that comes with this week’s print edition of the paper.

Billionaire members of the Fertitta family already made waves in Laguna Beach this summer, when an entity with ties to Frank Fertitta III, CEO of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos and former owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, paid $43.5M for an Emerald Bay home, among the tops for OC this year.

Locals told the Business Journal at the time that the home isn’t expected to be used by the Fertitta family but rather by their guests. The family, whose mega-yachts occasionally are spotted in the area, have other homes in Emerald Bay.

Cousin Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets and investor in Wynn Resorts, appears to be looking for a different way of housing out-of-town guests. News reports say he’s nearing a $650M buy of the Montage Resort in the city. The reported $2.5M per key price he’s paying for the 259-room luxury hotel would be a near-record price for a larger hotel in the state.

The deal would add a second NBA owner with a team in Texas to the grounds of the Montage; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban paid $19M for a home at the Montage Residences four years ago.

Man bites dog news: State bureaucracy helped California land a fast-growing tech business, at the expense of Florida.

“It was just taking too long to get everything financed and permitted there,” said Marc Bell, chairman and CEO of Terran Orbital, speaking to Florida press after pulling out of a satellite manufacturing plant development in that state. The $300M plant was touted by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year as the “world’s largest state-of-the-art commercial spacecraft facility.”

That business is now going to Irvine, where Terran already has operations, the small-satellite maker said last week. See our front page for more.

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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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