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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Leases in the Air
Laguna Beach residents and the area’s LGBTQ community likely remember the multiyear “Save the Boom” campaign of local activist Fred Karger, which attempted to save and then resurrect the city’s iconic Boom Boom Room, a gay bar that closed in 2007.
FITNESS: Expanding new studio concept
Add another storied gym chain to Orange County’s collection of fitness businesses that call the area home.
DRUGMAKERS: Allergan trade secrets disputed
The initial release of Evolus Inc.’s first product appears to have gotten the attention of doctors and patients looking for an alternative to Botox.
SPORTS: Tinted visors; $200 glasses for fans
Oakley Inc. was able to do what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown couldn’t this offseason: get the National Football League to revise its stringent rules on the types of helmet-related gear its players can wear.
REAL ESTATE: 60K-SF complex fetches $840 PSF
A newly built medical office complex in Newport Beach has traded hands at one of the highest per square foot prices ever seen for a non-hotel property in Orange County.
This week’s edition is bookended by a pair of notable charitable endeavors, a cover feature on Deidre Pujols and her family’s efforts to combat human trafficking, among other causes, and a Leader Board from Squar Milner’s Deborah Harrington on the rich tradition of the Boy Scouts in OC, much of it running along Jamboree Road.
Small Accounts, Big Names
Acorns Grow Inc. ranks No. 11 among the area’s software companies by local employee count, sprouting 20% in the past year to 240 at its decked-out new HQ near UCI—its emergence is one of several notable trends in this week’s tech-focused edition (see our Special Report beginning on page 19).
SERVICES: $30.6M buy part of new strategy
Resources Connection Inc. didn’t wait long to back up Chief Executive Kate Duchene’s mid-July stated corporate goal of becoming more digitally focused; it just made a major investment in that specific sector.
The Value of Coworking
WeWork’s financial DNA has a lot more in common with Uber than Irvine Co.
Shares of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. were down 3.5% in midday trading Thursday, after the Food & Drug Administration said the company had recalled part of a transcatheter heart valve system made since last year.
Irvine Co. promoted a trio of executives who report directly to Chairman Donald Bren at Orange County’s dominant real estate firm.
HOSPITALITY: Ritz, Montage trade expected
A South Korean financial services group has emerged as the likely buyer for two of Orange County’s poshest coastal resorts, which could trade hands for $900 million or more on a combined basis.
Allied Esports Entertainment, an Irvine-based company that runs facilities for online gaming enthusiasts, as well as the World Poker Tour, went public Monday by reverse merger.
Trophy Buildings, and Trophies
The July 19 passing of renowned architect César Pelli is being felt in OC’s Arts District.
1 of 2 SoCal Firms Accepted to Bootcamp
Irvine-based device maker Clinitraq Inc., a 3-year-old firm whose core product helps monitor healthcare workers’ exposure to radiation, is taking a three-month business trip to Kentucky.
RFIC Offerings For IoT, 5G Uses
Add Irvine’s OctoTech Inc. to the growing ranks of chipmakers in Orange County.
COWORKING: CubeWork’s first OC location in doubt
The future of Orange County’s first big coworking site for warehouse users appears to be in flux, after the owners of the prominent building in Irvine that’s home to the shared-space facility were caught up in a federal tax evasion scheme that made national headlines last week.
Shares of Irvine’s Kura Sushi USA (Nasdaq: KRUS) surged during its first day of trading as the operator of 22 U.S. revolving sushi bar restaurants completed Orange County’s first initial public offering this year.
Boat Exploits, and Heroics
You’ll see more than a few references, and photos, of notable yachts and sailboats in this week’s OC’s Wealthiest issue, the 19th edition of one of our more closely watched issues of the year.
Larry Webb, co-founder and chief executive of the New Home Co. Inc. (NYSE: NWHM), is transitioning to an executive chairman role at the Aliso Viejo builder at the end of August.
ECONOMY: 46 with $500M+; 25 Billionaires
Have you heard that it’s a tough time for the richest of the rich?
DEFENSE: $25 Million for new Karem Aircraft unit
Lake Forest’s Karem Aircraft Inc., an aerospace development firm that makes manned and unmanned rotorcraft vehicles mainly for the military is spinning off a venture to build an all-electric air taxi vehicle for Uber.
Burritos, Not Botox
Bill Ackman’s latest investment in an OC company is going much more smoothly than its predecessor.
Newport Beach’s Jeff Moorad is getting back into sports ownership.
Irvine’s Kura Sushi USA, which operates 22 U.S. revolving sushi bar restaurants, has set the terms for what could be Orange County’s first initial public offering this year.
HOSPITALITY: Local buyer Clearview plans upgrades
The Newport Beach Marriott Bayview has been sold to a local investor, in the priciest hotel transaction seen in Orange County in nearly a year.
Newport Beach Bayview Marriott was sold for $78 million, or about $307,000 per key for the 254-room property.
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.
Newport Beach’s William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) has bought South Pacific Financial Corp., a retail mortgage banking company based in Irvine.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is relocating its headquarters from Cypress to Franklin, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville, the company said Tuesday.
Chicago-based AbbVie Inc. has agreed to buy fellow pharmaceutical giant Allergan Plc for nearly $63 billion in cash and stock.
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.
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.
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.
Connects International Shoppers to US Stores
HelpJess, a virtual shopping app that’s been in testing mode for about a year, is launching.
AUTOMOTIVE: Selling China brand in U.S.
Irvine has added another notable carmaker to its ranks.
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.
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).
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.