A 150,161-square-foot office building just blocks from the Outlets at Orange shopping center has been sold to an investor looking to convert the property into a multifamily project, according to the brokerage Newmark.

City Centre I, which sits on 6.8 acres at 625 The City Drive South, sold for $22.5 million to Watermarke Properties.

SEE MORE: 83 townhomes coming to Anaheim office site

Newmark, which represented the unidentified building owner in the sale, said Watermarke is pursuing entitlements for potentially 360 housing units at the site.

“City Centre I was an attractive covered land play in central Orange County that received strong interest from a wide range of buyers and capital sources,” said Paul Jones, an executive managing director at Newmark. “The existing asset offered in-place cash flow, while the buyer secures entitlements for a new multifamily development.”

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Newmark said zoning designations at the site allow for up to 60 units per acre. The ground floor would be reserved for retail spaces.

Conversions of offices, much like dormant malls, to apartments have become the latest salvo in California’s housing shortage. Since the work-from-home pivot, developers and property owners are eyeing under-used sites for redevelopment.

Local projects office-to-housing conversions include a two-building campus in Anaheim that’s being converted to 83 apartments and another two-office spread in Tustin that will add 18 duplexes and four detached homes to the city. Toward the coast in Newport Beach, a two-building, 42,697-square-foot office property was sold for $20.4 million to a local residential real estate developer. No plans for that property have been shared, so far.

SEE MORE: 40 new homes coming to Tustin, replacing 2 office buildings

Vanguard University President Michael Beals greets Patty and Rick Arvielo at the surprise unveiling of Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management. (Courtesy of Vanguard University)

Nearly 800 Vanguard Univerity faculty, staff, students and supporters gathered for a surprise unveiling of the new Patty Arvielo School of Business and Management in Costa Mesa. (Courtesy of Dana Attebery Photography)



University names business school after Patty Arvielo

Patty Arvielo, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Tustin-based mortgage company New American Funding, likely got the surprise of a lifetime when Vanguard University named its business school after her earlier this month.

The private university presented Arvielo with the honor at a surprise unveiling April 19 at the Costa Mesa campus.

Vanguard said Patty and her husband, Rick Arvielo, have partnered with the school and its vision as it restructures its academic program. The couple made a substantial contribution to the school, which did not disclose the amount, only saying it was the “largest academic donation in the university’s 103-year history.”

SEE MORE: Top Workplaces 2022: In good times and bad, New American Funding runs ‘with heart’

“For someone who didn’t think she was smart — or fit the profile of what smart means in America — my story is important and I share it to empower you,” she told an audience of nearly 800 students, faculty, staff and supporters in attendance. “Because that’s what this country offers and that is why our grandparents and parents came to this great country, to offer us the opportunities to succeed!”

The business program at Vanguard, a private, Christian-based school founded in 1920, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It offers degrees in accounting, business administration, management and marketing.

“We are honored to align our business programs under Patty Arvielo’s name because of who she is — a phenomenal business leader and role model for Hispanic, female and all students whose life story and work demonstrate what is possible,” said VU President Michael J. Beals.

The Patty Arvielo School of Business will launch in the 2024-2025 academic year, Vanguard said.

Josh Dale, Bryce Grandison, Taylor Johnson, Rylan Mukssood and Shaun Wiechmann, students at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business & Economics, won the NAIOP SoCal Orange County Real Estate Challenge. (Courtesy of NAIOP SoCal Orange County)

Chapman students win real estate challenge

A team of students from Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business & Economics won the NAIOP SoCal Orange County Real Estate Challenge.

The second annual contest featured graduate student teams from Chapman and UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business Center for Real Estate.

Chapman’s five-member team took home the Orange Cup at the April 20 event, which was held at UCI.

The competition determines the best use for a unique parcel of land in Southern California. To win, the team had to accumulate the most points during written and oral presentations to a judging panel of local commercial real estate industry leaders, and a live audience.

For the 2023 competition, the project was a 2-parcel site in Brea with four buildings. All are occupied in various states of leasing, but its location meant it was a good candidate for redevelopment.

Chapman University’s presentation proposed a focus on a healthcare-related office as well as a new nursing school and senior living community.

Chapman University’s team included Josh Dale, Bryce Grandison, Taylor Johnson, Rylan Mukssood and Shaun Wiechmann. The UCI team incluced Jon Bradford, Serena-Yuwei Dai, Dale Padelford, Alec Shaul and Zakary Win.

Real estate transactions, leases and new projects, industry hires, new ventures and upcoming events are compiled from press releases by contributing writer Karen Levin. Submit items and high-resolution photos via email to Business Editor Samantha Gowen at sgowen@scng.com. Please allow at least a week for publication. All items are subject to editing for clarity and length.