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Lennar Buys Mission Viejo Site for Condos, Townhomes

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Lennar Corp.’s California housing arm has completed the purchase of 7.4 acres in Mission Viejo in one of the larger housing land deals seen in Orange County so far this year.

Miami-based Lennar, which runs much of its day-to-day operations from Aliso Viejo, bought the land from Target Corp., which has a store on the same block. Target bought the land in 2005.

Terms of the deal, which has been in the works since early this year, weren’t disclosed. Earlier this year, city officials said the land was likely to sell for as much as $15 million.

Lennar was seen earlier this year as a likely buyer, according to the Orange County Register.

The company’s expected to build some 144 condominiums and townhomes at the site, including 22 homes that will be marketed to low-income buyers.

A time frame for when construction likely is to begin hasn’t been detailed. Grading and other early work already has been done on the land.

Target received close to two dozen offers for the land from apartment developers as well as local and national housing developers, according to officials with CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., which marketed the land.

Lennar paid cash for the land, according to CB Richard Ellis’ Ray Eldridge, who marketed the site along with Michelle Jefcoat of the brokerage’s Newport Beach office. Suzanne Wash-burn and Wood Belcher of CB Richard Ellis’ Orlando, Fla., office, also worked on the deal.

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Aliso Viejo’s CT Realty Investors has made its second big industrial purchase in the Inland Empire in as many weeks.

CT Realty and a unit of Dallas-based investor Behringer Harvard bought the 231,444-square-foot Archibald Business Center in Ontario, an industrial building near LA/Ontario International Airport that is fully leased to Manhattan Beach-based shoemaker Skechers USA Inc.

Skecher’s lease at the building expires at the end of 2011. The company’s relocating to 1.8 million square feet elsewhere.

CT Realty officials said they plan to market the building for sale or lease to companies looking for a high-profile corporate or regional headquarters that also need distribution or manufacturing space.

Irvine’s Bixby Land Co. was the seller of the building, which traded hands for a reported $9.5 million, or about $41 per square foot.

CT Realty and Behringer Harvard also were part of an investment team that just bought the 1.4 million-square-foot Cajon Distribution Center in San Bernardino.

The two companies are looking to buy other industrial assets in the Inland Empire, according to Behringer Harvard.

Makena Moves

Mission Viejo’s Makena Properties has a new president.

Brad Kelly recently was promoted to president at Makena, a longtime area commercial real estate development company.

Kelly has been with Makena for 20 years. Most recently he was chief financial officer for the company, which has developed more than 3 million square feet in OC and San Diego.

He’ll be responsible for Makena’s day-to-day operations and reports to Norm Nowell, the company’s chief executive. In addition to his responsibilities with Makena, Kelly also is a partner in American Sports Centers, the company’s sports facilities division.

Executive Suite Expansion

Irvine’s Premier Business Centers, one of the largest operators of executive office suites in the country, has been adding more local space to its portfolio, which now totals more than 1 million square feet across the country.

The company recently added suites in Santa Ana at Griffin Towers’ 6 Hutton Centre Drive building. Premier has 16,822 square feet on the sixth floor of the building, which it plans to open in December.

The Santa Ana deal comes a little more than a month after Premier Business Centers signed a lease for 18,649 square feet at 4000 MacArthur Blvd. in Newport Beach, a building that holds the headquarters of chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc.

Premier Business Centers now has 57 locations, including 19 in OC. It’s opened 12 in the past year and a half.

The company, which was started by the founders of Irvine apartment investor Bascom Group LLC, offers smaller businesses staffed office space and a variety of shared services, including office administration, furniture, conference rooms and high-speed Internet access.

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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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