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OCBJ INSIDER

Dean Stoecker isn’t going away, despite turning over the CEO reigns of Alteryx to Mark Anderson last month.

“I’m going to be actively involved in philanthropy in Orange County. Hopefully you’ll hear a lot about that in the coming quarters,” Stoecker, now executive chairman and largest individual shareholder of the $7.6B-valued data analytics company (NYSE: AYX), told our Kevin Costelloe this month.

Expect an education focus for any new initiatives. Stoecker and his wife Angie in 2017 started Irvine’s i-Rise Foundation, which aims to improve educational opportunities for disenfranchised high schoolers

“Our ambition has always been to help disrupt the academic world,” said Stoecker, who says students should have the opportunity for “lifelong learning.”

Disneyland reopened California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street on Nov. 19, and thousands showed up to visit the theme park’s outdoor shopping and dining areas for the first time since March. No rides were open, though.

See Kevin Costelloe’s page 13 story for more on the economic impact of the long-term closure for OC’s top employer.

Despite the lengthy shuttering of Disneyland’s main attractions, there’s signs of life in Anaheim’s economy and in the small-business sector as a whole, says Lantern Credit, a San Francisco-based provider of lending data for business owners.

The company, with local offices in Newport Beach, this month released a report on the top 15 U.S. cities with populations under 500,000 to start a small business, based on eight public data points as well as two of its business loan application data points.

Anaheim ranked No. 14, and was one of two cities in the state to make the list. Coming in at No. 6 was Irvine. Four of the top five spots on the list were in Texas.

Lantern Credit notes that new business applications reached a ten-year peak in early October, and the level of new applications that week was 40% higher compared to the same period in 2019.

Korean real estate investors have been propping up OC’s office market of late, paying Irvine and Newport Beach-like prices for buildings not in those markets.

Last week’s print edition of the Business Journal noted a Korean investor’s nearly $400 per square foot purchase of a Los Alamitos office campus now leased to the North Americas division of Epson America Inc. A similar sky-high price also was paid for Santa Ana’s Two MacArthur office in October, also by a Korea-backed buyer. They’re both among the top local office sales during the pandemic.

Money’s also being driven from Korea into OC golf courses. Property records indicate the new Cerritos-based owner of Irvine’s Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course has ties to Korea. The course was once eyed for housing redevelopment but is staying a golf-focused property, according to the seller, Drive Shack Inc. of N.Y., which in October got $34.5M for the site. It didn’t identify the buyer at the time.

Property and state records indicate the Irvine course’s new owners have ties to the Korean-backed ownership group now running Marbella Country Club in San Juan Capistrano. It bought that site from Drive Shack around the start of 2019, for a reported $20M.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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