Mark Mueller


Mark Mueller covers commercial and residential real estate for the Orange County Business Journal. His beat also includes title insurers and mortgage lenders, as well as government stories that relate to real estate. He can be reached at

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 226

Recent Stories

WeWork Goes Big In Irvine Spectrum

COWORKING: Full-office lease at new development

WeWork Companies Inc. has struck a deal to lease all of a just-built office in the Irvine Spectrum, and will operate one of the largest coworking spots in the U.S. at the location.

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William Lyon Homes Buys Mortgage Banker

Newport Beach’s William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) has bought South Pacific Financial Corp., a retail mortgage banking company based in Irvine.

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Irvine Revolving Sushi Chain Kura Plans IPO

RESTAURANTS: $57.5M offering, eyes 200+ spots

Kura Sushi USA Inc., an Irvine-based sushi restaurant chain that opened its first location at the city’s Diamond Jamboree shopping center in 2009, has its eyes on being the first Orange County restaurant company to go public in nearly four years.

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Adventus Ventures Raises $3 Million

VC Money For Allevion, Pressao

Irvine-based VC firm Adventus Ventures, which focuses on medical technology companies, last week said it completed a $3 million Series A round of equity financing, led by Korea’s OnFace SDC, a technology investor focused on Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and integrated systems.


Blessings, and Jams

Glenn Stearns is an optimist—a fact made clear during an interview with our Peter J. Brennan—coming after his namesake mortgage lender filed for bankruptcy, an event that involves another notable OC finance firm, PIMCO (see his front-page story).

Electric Vehicle Concept Puts Containers on Wheels

Few Details Disclosed For Company With China Ties

A secretive new transportation-focused tech company with domestic operations based here is looking to make its mark in the electric vehicle market.

OC Insider

Newport, Newport

This week’s Insider was written a thousand miles north of the Business Journal’s headquarters, at the other big Newport along the West Coast: Newport, Ore.

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Cloudvirga Adds to Exec Ranks

Irvine’s Cloudvirga, a fast-growing mortgage software company that has raised more than $77 million from investors since its 2016 founding, has hired Maria Moskver as chief legal and compliance officer.

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OCBJ Insider

Campus Plans

In early 2015, Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli stood at a vacant lot at Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods, touting the company’s forthcoming campus on the site as a future hub of new technology, research and innovation in OC to a small crowd of media and city officials.

Allergan Plans $63B Sale to AbbVie

DRUGMAKERS: Irvine campus could see more change

Chicago-based AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) plans to buy fellow pharmaceutical giant Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) for nearly $63 billion in cash and stock.

Mitsubishi Motors Driving to Tennessee

AUTOMOTIVE: 200 Cypress workers relocating

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is relocating its headquarters from Cypress to Franklin, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville, the company said.

Mitsubishi Moving to Tenn.

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is relocating its headquarters from Cypress to Franklin, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville, the company said Tuesday.

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Allergan Being Sold for $63B

Chicago-based AbbVie Inc. has agreed to buy fellow pharmaceutical giant Allergan Plc for nearly $63 billion in cash and stock.

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Buena Park’s Yamaha Names Macias as Brand Director

Quiksilver Vet Joins Music Powerhouse

Greg Macias has been named brand director for Buena Park-based Yamaha Corporation of America, one of the country’s largest makers of musical instruments.

Quartet Picked For OCTANe Event

Ophthalmology Cos. Get Look

Newport Beach’s IACTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. is one of four early-stage ophthalmology companies presenting at OCTANe’s Ophthalmology Technology Summit at Fashion Island Hotel on June 28.


Initial Returns

Business looks good for OC’s cadre of accountancies and management consulting firms, which report strong levels of hiring over the past year—one of many stories you’ll find in this week’s Special Report starting on page 23.

‘Virtual Shopping Mall’ App HelpJess Launches

Connects International Shoppers to US Stores

HelpJess, a virtual shopping app that’s been in testing mode for about a year, is launching.

Zotye to Irvine; CUV in 2 Years

AUTOMOTIVE: Selling China brand in U.S.

Irvine has added another notable carmaker to its ranks.

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No IPO, No Problem for Gang of Four

Privacy Has Its Privileges, Including Rising Sales

Four of Orange County’s largest private companies weren’t expecting to stay private as of a few years ago and one of them didn’t expect to be OC-based, either.


Trade Talk

China looms large in this edition, in particular the fallout of the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China on a variety of area industries, from semiconductors for smartphones (page 12) to cars (this page) to tile and stone distributors (page 1).

Primoris Buys AV Land; Offices Expected

CONSTRUCTION: Site could hold 90,000 SF

Construction and infrastructure company Primoris Services Corp. (Nasdaq: PRIM) has bought a 7-acre site in Aliso Viejo. Real estate watchers expect the nearly $1 billion-valued firm to build a new regional facility there.

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SteelWave’s Two Buys Include Tricon’s New Home

REAL ESTATE: Next-door deals in Tustin; $49M

SteelWave LLC, the Foster City-based real estate investor currently heading the development of The Press creative office project in Costa Mesa, has added a pair of large buildings in Tustin—including one of the city’s recently rebuilt creative office properties—to its area portfolio.

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Good Music

While this issue’s Commercial Development Special Report (starting page 21) highlights the area’s batch of just-built and under-construction projects, there’s still plenty of news coming from a handful of OC buildings just a bit older.

$54M South Coast Metro Office Sale Tops for Year

REAL ESTATE: Ocean West, Angelo Gordon buy

A nine-story office in the South Coast Metro area of Santa Ana has sold for $54 million, in the highest-priced investment sale in Orange County reported to date.

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$60M of Irvine Office Sales for Wells Fargo

FINANCE: TGS billionaire a buyer, records indicate

Wells Fargo & Co. has sold two offices it owned in the Irvine Spectrum for about $60 million combined, the latest sign of local retrenchment for Orange County’s second-largest commercial bank by employee count and local deposits.

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Kilroy Was Here: Its Last OC Office Goes on the Block

Seeking Nearly $125M for 12-Story Tower Near JWA

Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC) is cashing out on Orange County.


Summer Travel

A new report from brokerage JLL shows that Orange County has added nearly 245,000 people to its population since 2010.

Trace3 Sales Surge Post-Midwest Merger

TECHNOLOGY: $1.2B sales beats prior projection

A blockbuster merger with a Midwest competitor last summer has gone faster and better than expected, according to Irvine-based IT services provider and consulting firm Trace3 Inc.

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Law Firm Rutan & Tucker to Irvine

LEGAL: Boardwalk gets top floor tenant

Rutan & Tucker LLP, Orange County’s second-largest law firm by local attorney count, has inked a deal to move its headquarters to The Boardwalk office development along Jamboree Road in Irvine, about a mile from John Wayne Airport.

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VR-Powered Venue Co. Gets $7.8M

TECHNOLOGY: Tyffon plans first US spot in LA

Orange County’s growing role in the virtual reality industry got another boost last week, as an early-stage firm with domestic operations here that operates a handful of VR-powered entertainment venues announced a $7.8 million round of funding.

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Novel Looks for Lower-Priced Irvine Homes

HOMEBUILDERS: Long garages, storage rooms

Irvine’s most affordable batch of newly built, for-sale homes in years have hit the market, with a look unlike much of what’s been built to date in Orange County’s fastest-growing city.

OC Insider

Commencement Season

Looking to make a list of the most notable backers of University of California, Irvine?

Newport Beach Gets First WeWork Location

COWORKING: Lease runs about 51,500 SF

New York-based WeWork, the largest and fastest-growing coworking landlord in Orange County, has added its first Newport Beach location to its local portfolio.

Bolar Hirsch Being Acquired

ACCOUNTING: First OC office for Armanino

Irvine-based Bolar Hirsch & Jennings LLP, Orange County’s 14th-largest accounting firm by local employee count, is being acquired by a San Ramon-based competitor that’s been on a growth push in Southern California of late.

UCI Business School Dean Stepping Down

Spangenberg Replacement Search to Begin Soon

The University of California-Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business is on the hunt for a new dean.


A Commanding Presence

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis no doubt can command the troops. The Marine general also has a good command of the business community.

CrowdStrike Files for IPO

Crowdstrike Holdings Inc., a security software maker that got its start in OC in 2011, has filed plans to go public.

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Women in Business, Politics

Laura Schwab looked like a million bucks last Wednesday.

OC 50 The Legends List

This week’s edition of the OC 50, the 26th edition of our annual inventory of influence, counts 15 new faces, the most change the listing has ever seen.

OC Insider

Opioid Avenger

There were no signs of Iron Man, flying armored suits, or other comic book-type next-gen tech toys anywhere on display at the futuristic headquarters of Masimo, a few days after the latest “Avengers: Endgame” movie was released.

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Chipmaker Solarflare Being Bought

Irvine’s Solarflare Communications Inc., Orange County’s 11th-largest chipmaker by employee count, is being acquired by San Jose-based computer technology giant Xilinx Inc., the companies announced last week.

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Ford Invests in EV Truck Maker

Plymouth, Mich.-based Rivian, an electric truck maker with a growing operations base in Irvine, has received a $500 million investment from Ford Motor Co.

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Chipmaker Solarflare Sells

Irvine-based Solarflare Communications is being sold to San Jose-based Xilinx Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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News for Squinting Eyes

When the robots and machines take over, as foretold by all from the Simpsons to the Terminator, they’ll probably use Syntiant chips.

Bhathals Swimming In New OZ Fund

Opportunity zones—economically challenged areas that stand to benefit from investment tax incentives created through President Trump’s 2017 tax reform bill—are this year’s hot topic in commercial real estate circles.

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ConversionPoint Files For IPO

Newport Beach-based ConversionPoint Holdings Inc. is looking to raise $40 million in an initial public offering.

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OC Insider

The Year of Food

Fine dining’s never in short supply at South Coast Plaza, but 2019 is seeing the luxe mall pull out all the stops to keep its shoppers happy, and full.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 42, No. 14

Irvine-based data science and analytics firm Alteryx Inc. (NYSE: AYX) bought ClearStory Data, a privately held software company in Menlo Park.

Bascom’s Latest Rental Push: Development in Orange

REAL ESTATE: 94-Unit Branch West JV Near Arena

Irvine’s Bascom Group, a privately held real estate firm best known for investing in existing apartment properties across the country, is getting into multi-family development in Orange County.

CBRE’s New Coworking Biz Inks Park Place Lease

CBRE Group Inc. has long stood as Orange County’s largest commercial real estate brokerage, as well as the area’s biggest property manager of commercial buildings.

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