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

A Break in Direction

Dec. 4 will see a swearing-in ceremony for Anaheim’s two new city council members, one re-elected council member, and a new mayor, Harry Sidhu, a pro-business Republican candidate, Disney ally, and former city councilman.

Google Pays Top Dollar for Silicon Valley HCP Site

Tech Giant Adds More Space and Jobs in Irvine

It’s a good time to own property leased to tech giant Google.

WeWork’s OC Base Grows to 5 Coworking Locations

Spectrum, Costa Mesa Get 2nd spots

New York-based coworking giant WeWork Inc. has added two more prominent Orange County locations to its quickly expanding local portfolio, which now includes five existing and coming office spots that top 200,000 square feet combined.

Tease photo

Stillwater, CrossHarbor Add Orange Biz Park to Mix

$18.6M Buy as Duo Nabs Glaukos for AV Campus

It’s been an active few weeks for Newport Beach-based Stillwater Investment Group, a privately held investor in office, industrial, apartment and retail properties that’s been operating since 2014.

Mophie Execs Start Smartphone Biz

INNOVATION: $2.5M for Costa Mesa’s Nimble

Costa Mesa-based Nimble, a newly formed maker of what it’s promoting as sustainably made smartphone accessories, has raised $2.5 million to help fund growth.

OC to Be Home to Another Asian Carmaker’s US Arm

AUTOMOTIVE: Zotye sets up in Lake Forest

Chinese carmaker Zotye Automobile International Co. plans to use a new Lake Forest-based distribution company to sell vehicles in the U.S. by 2020.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

Device Maker Glaukos Moving HQ to Aliso Viejo

REAL ESTATE: 3-office lease biggest in OC in 2018

Fast-growing medical device maker Glaukos Corp. is moving its headquarters from San Clemente to Aliso Viejo, after striking the largest office lease of the year in Orange County.

Tease photo

Investors Pay $230M for Pair of San Clemente Rentals

REAL ESTATE: Two of city’s three top sites sell

Institutional investors have bought two of the three largest apartment complexes in San Clemente in separate deals valued at about $230 million combined.

Ubiquity’s Former HQ in Spectrum Gets New Tenant

CBD Products Maker Growing Fast

Medterra, a Laguna Hills-based maker of cannabidiol oil and other CBD-related healthcare products that started operations last year, is taking a more prominent location in the Irvine Spectrum.

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.

Tease photo

Double Shot of Hotel Development

Dual-Branded Model Makes Local Inroads

Hotel developers in and around Orange County are seeing double.

Tease photo

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tease photo

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tease photo

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.