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Rare Commercial Deal in Pricey Corona del Mar

A pair of office and retail buildings on East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar has traded hands at what’s been described as a record price for the area.

Brad Kuish, a local investor and developer, last month closed on the purchase of 3800 and 3810 E. Coast Highway, a two-building property across the street from the Five Crowns restaurant at the intersection of Coast Highway and Poppy Avenue.

The two-story buildings total 11,526 square feet and are leased to 16 tenants that include retailers, professional services, and medical office users. Several tenants have been there for 20 years or more.

The buildings sold for a little under $8.4 million, or about $734 per square foot.

The closing cap rate was about 4%, and the price per square foot was the highest ever paid for a property of its type in Corona del Mar, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Ian Brown, who brokered the deal.

Some stand-alone retail buildings there have sold for more than $800 per square foot in the past few years, but none had significant amounts of office space.

Commercial properties in the area “rarely are placed on the market,” according to Brown, who works in Newmark Grubb’s Newport Beach office. “Additionally, this area has been experiencing a retenanting and repositioning renaissance. Boutique tenants clamor for the few vacancies, creating even higher demand and price points.”

The all-cash sale to Kuish marks the first time the property has sold since it was built in the early 1960s. It was sold by Masters Properties, a family-owned entity that developed the property.

Brown is marketing one additional property for the Masters family, a two-story office at 2711 E. Coast Highway. The 13,679-square-foot building next to the Sherman Library & Gardens is listed for sale at $10.5 million.

Buena Park Sale

Village Business Park, a five-building industrial park next to the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Buena Park, has traded hands as part of a larger portfolio sale of Southern California industrial properties.

San Diego-based investor Westcore Properties said late last month that it bought a four-project portfolio of infill industrial properties from MetLife for $69.4 million.

Village Business Park is the largest of the four, which also include buildings in La Mirada, San Dimas and Ontario.

The Buena Park buildings total about 301,000 square feet and include four industrial buildings and one single-tenant data center. The property is 99% leased to 15 tenants, including Isuzu Motors and safety device maker Hochiki America Corp., according to the buyer.

The entire portfolio sold to Westcore totaled 634,289 square feet, and traded hands for about $109 per square foot. The company now owns about 2.5 million square feet of commercial space in Southern California.

Other OC buildings it owns include 999 W. Town and Country Road, a 98,000-square-foot office in Orange that it bought last year.

Accounting Shift

Ernst & Young LLP has moved its Irvine office to a different building at the Lakeshore Towers complex near John Wayne Airport.

The accounting firm last month moved its local offices to 18101 Von Karman, a 19-story building that’s the tallest office at Lakeshore Towers, which overlooks the San Diego (405) Freeway.

The new 35,000-square-foot space includes “an innovative and open cubicle layout” and numerous conference and team rooms, according to the tenant.

The firm was previously at 18111 Von Karman, a 10-story building on the same campus. Both buildings are owned by San Diego-based Sentre Partners.

Ernst & Young employs about 425 in Orange County, where it’s the third largest accounting firm by employee count, according to Business Journal data.

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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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