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Monday, May 20, 2024
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OCBJ INSIDER

The Stars Come Out

Girls just want to have fun, goes the Cyndi Lauper song, but when it comes to the Candlelight Concert, the black-tie gala supporting the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the event’s work has typically been overseen by women.

This year saw a change-up, with John Stratman Jr., senior director of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente’s area operations serving as concert chair. It’s said to be the first time in 48 years the role has gone to a man.

Stratman, who serves on Segerstrom Center’s board, did well in the position, as the N.Y.-themed event brought in close to $3.2M for the arts center. Since its 1974 inception, Candlelight Concert has raised over $40M; funds benefit Segerstrom Center’s artistic programming and education initiatives.

Lauper—who wrote lyrics for Broadway’s Kinky Boots, which ran in 2014 and 2018 at Segerstrom Hall—provided the evening’s entertainment, along with famed KROQ DJ Richard Blade. Celeb Chef Giada De Laurentiis provided the dinner.

Costa Mesa remains the center of OC’s dining scene, according to the Michelin guide, whose awarding of stars was made official last week.

Knife Pleat, Taco Maria and Hana re each retained their one-Michelin-star status for this year. The Costa Mesa trio were the only restaurants in OC to receive stars, though several others including Tustin’s CHAAK Kitchen, Newport Beach’s Fable & Spirit and Irvine’s Hiro Nori Craft Ramen were given Michelin’s Bib Gourmand designation, presented to more casual but high-quality restaurants.

Liberty Dental Plan of California, a prepaid specialty health plan founded in 2001 by Newport Coast dentist Amir Neshat, has a new home at Tustin’s Flight creative office campus, our Katie Murar reports.

See Murar’s front-page story on other new tenants joining Flight, home to the HQ of space tourism firm Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE), JustFoodforDogs, and many others.

Neshat has a new home as well, according to reports. The San Diego Union-Tribune last week reported on actress Sandra Bullock selling a 91-acre property in the Valley Center area of the county, for $5.6M.

The home, about an hour’s drive from downtown San Diego, “includes a 5,938-square-foot Mediterranean-style house with four bedrooms and six bathrooms, avocado and citrus tree groves, chicken coop, gated driveway, saltwater pool and plenty of security cameras,” the Union-Tribune said, noting that the undisclosed buyer was a Newport Beach-based entity called IAAA LLC.

Business Journal research shows IAAA to be an entity controlled by Liberty’s Neshat.

Pimco CIO Dan Ivascyn believes recent market volatility has created “some of the most attractive investment opportunities in more than a decade” for commercial real estate. See Peter J. Brennan’s story on this page for more on the Newport Beach finance giant’s latest CRE investment vehicle.

That market volatility can be seen in the discrepancy between the nearly $80M price tag (and $1,105 PSF price) for a new 68K-SF office on 10 acres planned for the OC Health Care Agency, and the $70M starting bid price (a mere $66 PSF) for the sprawling Chet Holifield Building in Laguna Niguel, on nearly 90 acres. See pages 1 and 3 for more on those deals.

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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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