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


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.

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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$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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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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 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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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.

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 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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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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OC Insider

Pepsi’s Challenge

A good week for OC, and corporate relocations.

SAP Opening Newport Beach Coworking Office

REAL ESTATE: HanaHaus in April; Innovation Center Too?

Newport Beach is getting its first large waterfront coworking space through a project backed by the co-founder of enterprise software giant SAP SE.

OC Insider

Buy the Book

“Any company I run is going to be sold every three to seven years,” CoolSys Chief Executive Adam Coffey said in our March 4 edition, when we excerpted his just-released book, “The Private Equity Handbook.”

Hines’ OC Head To Run Asia Office, HQ

Commercial real estate development and investment giant Hines plans to ramp up its work in Asia, and has tapped the head of the firm’s busy Orange County office to lead the charge.

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Blizzard Pivots to Content Development Jobs

GAMING: Irvine firm now tops in office space

A sizeable round of job cuts in Irvine is unlikely to have much impact on the local space needs of Blizzard Entertainment Inc., the online video game publisher whose collection of area properties now makes it Orange County’s largest office tenant.

WeWork for Industrial Space? Irvine Spot Tries Coworking

A prominent Irvine industrial building near John Wayne Airport that was caught up in an international caper featuring federal allegations of illegal commodities trading a few years ago has a new business plan: becoming Orange County’s first big coworking site for warehouse users.

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OC Insider

The New Oil

Data science and advanced analytics firm Alteryx Inc. appears to be just scratching the surface of its potential growth, no small feat considering the $4.5 billion valued company’s stock nearly tripled since the start of 2018.

Sapphire Chef Goes Global With New Biz

RESTAURANTS: Ghahreman’s Dellah on fast track for growth

Chef Azmin Ghahreman is widely considered one of Orange County’s top culinary figures.

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OC Insider

Legal Briefs

Reformation at the OC District Attorney’s office won’t take place overnight, according to newly minted DA Todd Spitzer.

OC Insider

Canadian Dollars

Pensions are a hot topic in this week’s edition: note Canada’s No. 2 pension fund taking a 40% stake, and providing a $400 million war chest, to Steve Jones’ Allied Universal (see story, front page).

IRWD Kicks Off Work for Creative Office Project

REAL ESTATE: 70,000-SF building near Spectrum HQ

A wetter-than-normal start of the year didn’t stop the Irvine Ranch Water District from beginning a new creative office project on vacant land it owns next to its Sand Canyon Avenue headquarters.

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Security Blanket

Palmer Luckey's Anduril Touts Border Technology, Refines Irvine HQ Plans

Anduril Industries, one of Orange County’s more closely watched startup firms, is ramping up its public profile, not to mention its defense and security-focused technology offerings, while shedding more light on its local growth plans.

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Real Estate Data Firm Bought

Irvine’s ATTOM Data Solutions has been acquired by Lovell Minnick Partners, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm, on undisclosed terms.

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The King Speaks

Bill Gross spoke to just two reporters last week after announcing his impending retirement.

Skincare Co. Drunk Elephant Explores Sale

Newport Beach Co-HQ; Could Command $1B

Drunk Elephant LLC has its eyes on being the next cosmetics company with roots in Orange County to pass the $1 billion mark in valuation (see related story, front page).

City of Hope Buys NB Office; Irvine Project Still in Works

The City of Hope is coming to Orange County, a few years earlier than expected.

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Agent of Record(s)

How Leigh Steinberg Landed the NFL’s Newest Superstar

Leigh Steinberg doesn’t represent any of the Los Angeles Rams or New England Patriots playing in the Super Bowl.

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Builders Top 5,000 Sales Again; Prices Near $1M

Close to $5 billion was spent on new Orange County homes in 2018—builders’ second-best sales year in the last 15.

Comeback Kings

Everyone likes a good comeback story.

Apartment Construction Remains Brisk

26,500 New Rental Units Since 2010

OC’s new home market saw a 10% drop in sales volume last year (see story, page 1), but the region’s multifamily future remains bright.

Beacon Roofing Commits to New North OC Project

Take Largest of Four Buildings from Panattoni

Panattoni Development Co.’s Orange County Commerce Center, a four-building industrial project straddling Anaheim and Placentia that’s one of the largest industrial developments now underway in the county, has its first tenant.