Mark Mueller

Senior Editor

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 mueller@ocbj.com.

Email: mueller@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 226

Recent Stories

Olenicoff Makes $169M Push in Atlanta, Nashville

REAL ESTATE: Says OC deals becoming harder to find

Igor Olenicoff, Orange County’s second-wealthiest businessperson, doesn’t plan many local real estate acquisitions in the current frothy market.

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Dana Point Harbor’s Revamp Team Gets to Work

66-Year Lease Kicks Off For Est. $338M Project

The development “dream team” tasked with revitalizing Dana Point Harbor now has the keys to the nearly 300-acre waterfront site in South County, part of which will become one of the region’s largest commercial development sites over the next few years.

Double Shot of Hotel Development

Dual-Branded Model Makes Local Inroads

Hotel developers in and around Orange County are seeing double.

No Incentives, No Problem: Radisson Blu Work Starts

HOSPITALITY: 12-story project a mile from Disney

A contentious political climate in Anaheim over the past few months hasn’t stopped every high-end hotel project in the city from moving ahead.

Newport Center Eviction Action Gets National Press

Eagan Avanatti Behind On Rent at Irvine Co. Tower

Newport Beach’s glitzy 520 Newport Center Drive building, which opened in 2014, could soon see its first notable eviction, along with its first big sublease of space.

SCP Pushes For Quiet Sears Closure

RETAIL: Tries to avoid gaudy liquidation plan

South Coast Plaza is known for luxe shops, exclusive brands and fine dining.

Life in the Fast Lane

IPOs, Relocations, New Markets Add to Ranks

It’s getting a bit harder to be one of Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies. But for those who make the cutoff, the payoff remains sweet.

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Newly-Built Hyatt House in Irvine Trades for $42M

HOSPITALITY: Hyatt Corp. sells to McWhinney

One of the newest hotels in the John Wayne Airport area has been snapped up by a hospitality investor and developer in Colorado.

New Home Eyes More Stock Buybacks as Shares Dip

‘Company in Transition’; Pivot to Affordability

Fast growth in sales hasn’t translated to stock gains for New Home Co.

Top Dollar Paid for Newport Beach Waterfront Offices

Redwood West Pays $660 PSF for Two Buildings

Redwood West executives have a simple explanation for their recent $23.2 million purchase of Newport Beach’s Bayside Square office complex, a deal that ranks among the area’s priciest per square foot.

Device Maker Axonics Boosts Size of IPO Plans

HEALTHCARE: Irvine firm could nab $122M from offering

Irvine-based medical device maker Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. is beefing up plans for going public.

Charged Office Sale

REAL ESTATE: NFL team’s HQ sells for $84 million

The Costa Mesa office complex that’s home to the operations of the Los Angeles Chargers football team has traded hands at a 75% premium to its prior sale.

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City Ventures Sees Green in Eco-Friendly Homes

REAL ESTATE: On pace for 600 sales this year

You could call City Ventures the Prius of homebuilders.

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Glidewell Labs Adds 2 More Offices to Irvine Campus

REAL ESTATE: $88M buy its largest to date

Newport Beach-based dental products maker Glidewell Laboratories, already one of the largest owner-users of commercial real estate in the area around John Wayne Airport, has made what appears to be its largest-ever local property acquisition.

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Surf City Center Near Bella Terra Commands $65M

Edinger Plaza Sale Tops For OC Retail This Year

Edinger Plaza, a 155,275-square-foot shopping center in Huntington Beach across the street from the city’s largest mall, Bella Terra, has changed hands.

Eagle Four Takes Flight to Denver in Big Hotel Buy

HOSPITALITY: $415M value estimated for Sheraton

Newport Beach-based hospitality investor Eagle Four Partners is the latest local name taking notice of Colorado’s red-hot hotel market.

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Sears Closing South Coast Plaza Location

Sears Holdings Corp. plans to shutter its location at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza as part of its just-announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

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IBC Site Near The District Eyed for Senior Housing

3-Acre Site Would Hold 370 Units and Run 424,000 SF

A 3-acre site in Irvine that’s across the street from the District at Tustin Legacy shopping center is being considered for a sizeable housing project for older residents.

Orange, Anaheim Offices Trade Hands for $61M

REAL ESTATE: Both in hub of rental developments

Two Central Orange County offices in Orange and Anaheim have traded hands in deals totaling about $61 million.

Competition Up For EvoNexus Spots

INNOVATION: Irvine incubator adding startups

Much like the university down the road from its Irvine office, it’s getting harder for applicants to get accepted to startup incubator EvoNexus.

Foundation Building Materials Refocuses After Sale

SERVICES: Distributor keeps better-performing biz

Foundation Building Materials LLC, a Tustin-based distributor of wallboard, ceiling systems, and other products that’s used an aggressive roll-up acquisition strategy to build its business, is hitting the reset button.

Bedford Part of New Home Co. Affordability Push

Incredible Locations ‘Are Going Away,’ Webb Says

New Home Co. isn’t cutting the prices of its homes in half, though it may seem that way based on a reading of the Aliso Viejo-based builder’s financials.

Goodman Nabs Anaheim Industrial Site for $36M

REAL ESTATE: Could construct two buildings

Goodman North America, one of the country’s largest industrial developers over the past six years, has made its first reported acquisition in Orange County, an existing property in Anaheim near the Santa Ana (5) and Riverside (91) freeways interchange.

Edwards Expansion Proceeds Amid Sales Chatter

Royalty Carpet Building Next to Irvine HQ Razed

There’s one less industrial building on Red Hill Avenue in Irvine.

Legacy Partners Looks to Double South Coast Base

233 Units Proposed Along Sunflower, Near 580 Site

The developer of 580 Anton, the first upscale apartment project in the Costa Mesa arts district area in a decade, has a second residential project in the works a few blocks away, just over the city line in Santa Ana.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 39

The Orange County Museum of Art hired Sarah Jesse as deputy director.

Granite Pays $125M for Newport Beach Offices

REAL ESTATE: Latest big-dollar sale near JWA

Plano, Texas-based real estate investor Granite Properties has completed the largest single-property office deal of the year in the John Wayne Airport area, snapping up Newport Beach’s 100 Bayview complex.

WeWork Expanding To Boardwalk Midrise

INNOVATION: Largest co-working lease in OC

WeWork Inc. has plans to open the largest co-working space in Orange County, at the newly-built Boardwalk office development near John Wayne Airport.

Sares-Regis Pays $72M for Boeing Site in Surf City

REAL ESTATE: Office to be converted to industrial

One of Huntington Beach’s largest office buildings has sold, and is expected to make way for an industrial park.

Laguna Niguel Housing Push Will See Condos Added

100-Unit Project on Street Busy With Apartments

The city of Laguna Niguel could soon see one of its largest for-sale housing developments in years go up on an office site near Crown Valley Road and the San Diego (5) Freeway.

Urovant Inks New Licensing Deal as IPO Beckons

HEALTHCARE: $95M commitment; OAB focus

Urovant Sciences Ltd., an Irvine-based clinical-stage biopharma company focused on developing and commercializing drugs for urologic conditions, has inked a deal for a second product candidate.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 38

Allergan PLC is buying Newport Beach-based Bonti Inc. for $195 million.

OC Insider

Signs of the Times

The leaves don’t change much in Irvine during the fall; the best sense you’ll get that November is approaching in OC’s fastest-growing city is the fast-growing collection of political signs dotting the area’s main thoroughfares, which have been popping up since before Labor Day. Anyone hoping for a respite in negativity and obfuscation in the city’s campaigning (which peaked with June’s Veterans Cemetery referendum) is bound to be let down.

UCI Starts Work on Science & Engineering Building

EDUCATION: six-story structure to hold new hires

Work has started on a sizeable new science and engineering facility at the University of California-Irvine, designed to foster cross-disciplinary research in engineering, computing and physical sciences.

Fairfield Residential Pays $70.5M for Orange Offices

Site Near MainPlace Mall To Get 727 Residences

A nearly 12-acre site close to Santa Ana’s MainPlace Mall that’s being eyed for a residential development has changed hands for an eye-opening price.

Kelemen Goes Big With Atrium Buy

REAL ESTATE: $106M deal; creative-office perks planned

The Atrium building in Irvine, one of the most unique office properties in the area around John Wayne Airport, has a new owner—and plans for a major renovation.

Developers Buy Allergan Offices, Plan Rehab

REAL ESTATE: Panattoni, Stillwater pay $12 million

Panattoni Development Co., one of the country’s largest industrial developers, plans to move its headquarters from Newport Beach to Irvine, after investing in two buildings last owned by Allergan PLC.

Lincoln, Angelo Gordon Pay $160M for Offices

REAL ESTATE: JWA portfolio has 8 buildings, totals 520,000 SF

An eight-building portfolio of office buildings in Newport Beach and Irvine has sold for about $160 million, the most expensive Orange County office transaction so far this year.

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Startups & Innovations

Costa Mesa-based Opkix Inc. raised $5.7 million in a Series B round as it nears production on a premium, wearable smart camera.

Landsea Homes Moves HQ to Newport Center

Offices Near 23-Home Lido Villas Development

Landsea Homes has moved a little closer to the sea, and to one of its more upscale developments.

Ricoh Sells Santa Ana Offices, Land to Developers

REAL ESTATE: 15 acres in Santa Ana; $43.5 million

Ricoh Electronics Inc., a Tustin-based maker of digital copiers, printed circuit boards, scanners, printers and other products that’s long been one of Orange County’s largest manufacturers, has sold one of its big area properties, a nearly 15-acre site it owned on Red Hill Avenue in Santa Ana.

Coworking Explodes in OC

Base Tops 1.2M SF, 67 Locations

Entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups have a million reasons to smile about Orange County’s rapidly growing base of coworking locations and their wide array of customer amenities.

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FivePoint Heads Up 57 Freeway for More Business

REAL ESTATE: Cal Poly Pomona picks developer for Lanterman

FivePoint Communities Inc. is in discussions to take over master development duties at a nearly 300-acre site on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County owned by California State Polytechnic University-Pomona.

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LBA Pays $104 Million for 2 Irvine Spectrum Offices

REAL ESTATE: Taco Bell headquarters part of buy

LBA Realty has added another big office property in the Irvine Spectrum to its portfolio, snapping up a two-building property that includes the headquarters of Taco Bell Corp.

Plans for Hotel-Office Hybrid in Irvine Move Forward

De Vries’ HJ Capital Group Heads Up Project

Expect to see the recently proposed Banc Hotel hospitality and office development in Irvine start to make its way through the city’s planning process next year, according to the ambitious project’s backers.

Shared-Space Survivor

TechSpace Managed 2 Downturns—Will Others?

TechSpace Inc. was WeWork Inc. before WeWork was WeWork. The Aliso Viejo-based shared-space provider, whose roots date to 1997, can take claim as being one, if not the first, national firm to offer cutting-edge, amenity-heavy flexible work space to smaller companies.

Shea Kicks Off Rare Industrial Project Near Airport

9-Building Development Will Be Nearly 500K SF

Shea Properties has kicked off work on the largest ground-up industrial project in the area around John Wayne Airport in over a decade.

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Edwards Grows HQ After $36M Land Buy Next Door

REAL ESTATE: 3 buildings, more parking planned for Royalty site

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has proposed a major expansion of its Irvine headquarters, paving the way for Orange County’s largest public company to add hundreds of jobs to its local operations.

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Some Hotel Owners Grounded by Shorter Land Leases

Contracts Affect Ops Of Area Investors

Selling one of Newport Beach’s largest resort properties wasn’t an easy choice for Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. Chief Executive John Arabia.

Architecture Firm LPA Grows Space at UCI Biz Park

Broadcom’s Old Space Getting Snapped Up

Irvine-based LPA Inc., Orange County’s second-largest architecture firm, plans to spiff up its new headquarters at UCI Research Park.

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