O.C. Business Moving, Expanding
From the Orange County Business Journal
Issue Date: 11/19/10


Crevier Mini-Cooper is moving... but not very far, reports blogger Jon Lansner.

A 3.3-acre vacant auto dealership in the Santa Ana Auto Mall — homes to the old Bauer Jaguar — has been bought for $5.75 million by an entity that operates the nearby Mini-Cooper dealership. The plan is to move the dealership to the new location that sells the distinctive imported compact cars.
"In addition to excellent freeway visibility, the property enjoys a prime, up-front position in the Santa Ana Auto Mall, which appealed to the buyer who was looking to purchase a high-profile facility for their dealership. A real win-win for both parties and in a very tough economic environment," said Bryan Bauer of Coreland Companies, who represented the seller.
In another Orange County commercial real estate deal, Coreland helped arrange a five-year lease renewal with Petco for its existing 11,500-square-foot store at 13942 Newport Avenue in Tustin. The lease at the Newport-Camino Plaza was valued at $1.3 million.

Steven Hogberg of Coreland said: "We continue to be very busy with leasing activity throughout our portfolio, and well-located and well-positioned retail properties, such as these, prove there are still quality tenants in the market that are expanding and doing deals! ... Discounters and financial institutions remain two of the three most active segments; the third being quick-serve food users."


Blizzard Entertainment Inc., the gaming juggernaut behind the "World of Warcraft" series, has signed a lease to expand its Irvine headquarters by 40 percent. The low-rise buildings are near the company's existing Irvine Spectrum campus, and will be ready to occupy by the end of the year.

Blizzard is the county's largest software maker with $1.3 billion in yearly sales and more than 1,100 local employees. The lease was the second-largest office deal struck in O.C. in the past three months, according to the Orange County Business Journal. It's one of the largest expansions for a local technology company since Blizzard's last move in 2007.
News of the new office space, which totals just over 100,000 square feet, has sparked speculation that the company might be ramping up to develop a new and much-anticipated MMO game. At last month's Blizzcon, Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime said the "next-gen" MMO would co-exist, rather than compete with, the company's flagship World of Warcraft.
Blizzard Entertainment has more than 100 job openings in Southern California and has hired more than 1,000 new workers worldwide in the past year, reports technology reporter Ian Hamilton.

Here's the full statement Blizzard released from Blizzard COO Paul Sams about the expansion:

"Blizzard is fortunate to have grown our global headcount over the past year and we can confirm that we will be moving a small number of teams into additional office space in Irvine. In the last twelve months we have hired more than 1,000 new employees globally, and there are currently more than one hundred job openings for Southern California positions alone. While we can't provide specific details about the new space, it is in close proximity to our Irvine headquarters."


The old jelly factory in Placentia where the fruit toppings and preserves pioneered by the Knott family of theme park fame were once made has been sold. Back in 1995, the Knotts had sold the Knott's Berry Farm jelly business to Conagra and then leased manufacturing and warehouse space in Placentia back to the food giant who made and sold the jams and jellies. Conagra then sold the Knott's Berry Farm Foods business to Smuckers, who closed the Placentia production line in 2008. Now comes word that property investors Western Realco and Penwood Real Estate have bought the old Placentia jelly plant — aptly located at 200 Boysenberry — from a partnership run by the Knott family. The sale price was not disclosed. According to the Knott's Berry Farm Foods company history, the family moved to Buena Park in 1920 to start farming. Cordelia Knott soon opened a tea room, where she sold her homemade jellies and jams.

The old factory property includes a roughly 200,000-square-foot industrial building, office space, two acres of land and a yard. Broker Grubb & Ellis, which represented the buyer, reports that Western Realco plans to turn the property into a "more traditional manufacturing and warehouse space" before putting it back on the market. In February, Western Realco sold a 15-acre manufacturing site in Fullerton that it had bought the previous year.

Jeremy Mape of Western Realco said: "We will continue to seek strategic, value-add industrial opportunities to take advantage of the strengthening real estate fundamentals in Southern California."