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OC Insider: $25M Parting Gift

When SeneGence founder and CEO Joni Rogers-Kante first listed her Shady Canyon mansion for sale in 2020, asking nearly $50 million, the cosmetics exec said the elaborate details, flourishes and architectural aesthetics in the Irvine home at 76 Golden Eagle “represent the gratitude we and the boys hold in our hearts for the miraculous journey that has been our wonderous life here in Orange County over the past 40 years.”

“You could say Golden Eagle is our gift to Orange County.”

While eventually selling the 13,046-square-foot property for less than first listed, her parting gift still marks a new record price for a home sale in Irvine: $25 million.

See Kaitlin Aquino’s front-page story for more on the home, whose more unique exterior upgrades include a pool with underwater speakers and a poolside scuba snorkel system for four.

Rogers-Kante’s family have moved back to her hometown of Sapulpa, Okla. (population of about 22,000), where “we enjoy every chance given at our ranch and overseeing the remodeling of our historic buildings,” including a 1950s drive-in movie theater on Route 66 called The Tee Pee, she said in 2020.

The remodeled drive-in recently reopened to the public in Sapulpa, after nearly 20 years of inactivity.

Some of the excesses seen in the Shady Canyon home development appear to have carried over to Oklahoma.

“I said to my husband (SeneGence Chief Strategy Officer Ben Kante), ‘Honey, how bad could it be, buy the Tee Pee, put a coat of paint on the screen, mow the grass and let people go watch a movie,’” she told the local Fox affiliate after the drive-in’s opening this year.

“Well, you know, almost $3 million later, seven layers of groundwork, irrigation, building rules, sewage, lighting, you name it, we’re finally opening, and he won’t let me forget it either.”

With a Foothill Ranch base of operations, SeneGence has long ranked among OC’s largest women-owned businesses, with revenue estimated at around $1 billion.

Joni Rogers-Kante is a prior Business Journal Women in Business Award winner, among other Business Journal accolades.

For more on the crop of 204 nominees for this year’s Women in Business Awards, whose event is being held on Oct. 5 at the Irvine Marriott, see our Special Report beginning on page 19. Nominee bios start on page 70.

Newport Beach real estate investor KBS Realty Advisors is feeling the effects of the prolonged downturn in the office market in San Francisco’s Financial District.

An affiliate of KBS in 2013 paid $121 million for 201 Spear Street, an 18-story tower in San Francisco whose tenants are said to include WeWork and Google.

It now counts just 68% occupancy, according to KBS, which faces payment of a $125 million loan tied to the property in early 2023.

The KBS affiliate took a $45.5 million impairment on the tower this year, and said it is “currently engaged in discussions with our lender” about the property.

Given “the substantial difference between the mortgage debt and the fair value of the asset and the very uncertain path and timing of a recovery in the San Francisco market,” a foreclosure on the property is possible, it said in regulatory filings. See next week’s print edition for more.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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