An office building in downtown Santa Ana is being converted into apartments in a $60 million workforce development project dubbed 888 Tower led by Alliant Strategic Investments.

The firm bought the historic building at 888 North Main St. for $54 million from property developer Mike Harrah. It’s the second big deal for “Big Mike” in recent months. Amazon recently bought the Orange County Register’s former plant building and a back lot from Harrah for $63 million.

The 10-story offfice tower dates to the 1960s and was designed by Wilton Beckett, designer of LAX and the iconic Capitol Records Tower.

The former offices are being broken up into 148 apartments that will be targeted to Workforce Housing residents, or those making 100% of the area’s median income. Units will include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom styles with rent starting in the low-$2,000 range, according to Alliant.

Amenities in the basement include a fitness center, yoga studio, Internet café, a social area with free WiFi and two stories of subterranean parking.

“This project is a leading indicator of how older, vacant buildings are being converted into modern and productive buildings for the benefit of the community at large,” said Jeffrey Gould, founder of Lineage Asset Management, one of the brokers involved in the project, in a statement.

888 Tower is part of Alliant Strategic’s Opportunity Zone Fund I, which was formed to invest in real estate within qualified “Opportunity Zones.” The zones, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017, were created to increase redevelopment in economically disadvantaged areas.

  • NORTH KOREAN LEADER SIDELINED BY FOOD SURGERY, SOUTH SAYS – The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose prolonged absence from public view aroused rumors that he was ill or deposed, or both, was recovering from surgery on his left foot, South Korea’s intelligence agency told lawmakers on Tuesday. North Korea’s state news media did not report any public appearances by Kim for almost six weeks until Oct. 14, when he was shown visiting a housing project in Pyongyang, walking with a cane. The North Korean accounts have not explained the reason for his absence. – Choe Sang-Hun, NYT (In this detail from a photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korean News Service on September 30, 2010 North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (R, front row) and the man believed to be his son Kim Jong-Un, (L, front row) pose for photographs with delegates of the Workers’ Party of Korea at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea.)

  • Chapman freshman Justin Moh lobs a pass over the outstretched arm of Caltech’s Tomas Tussie during a recent game at Chapman University in Orange.

  • Allan Roman hit a home run at Angel Stadium to lead Laguna Hills High to the CIF-Southern Section championship in 1984.

  • Students at Malcom Elementary School in Laguna Niguel say the Pledge of Allegiance as they wear their pajamas on Pajama Day at over 40 schools in the Capistrano Unified School District, where students and staff wore their pajamas to school and brought new pajamas to be donated to those in need.

  • Surf brand Hurley posted this historic photo of Jay Adams on its Instagram page Friday. Adams was a sponsored rider and worked at the Costa Mesa surf company about a decade ago.

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UCI health sciences complex breaks ground

Work has begun on a 9-acre, $134 million health sciences complex at UC Irvine.

The project is under the direction of San Francisco-based Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Co., architecture and engineering firm HED, and architecture firm The S/L/A/M Collaborative.

The complex – at the corner of Bison and California avenues adjacent to the UCI Research Park – will include a five-story, 135,111-square-foot building for the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences and the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, and an adjoining four-story, 77,028-square-foot building for the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing.

“UCI is creating a national ‘one-health’ model for discovery, teaching and healing that brings together the strengths of the disciplines of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and population health,” said Steve Goldstein, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, in a statement. “These two new buildings, part of our expanded health sciences campus, are designed to foster the creation of the diverse healthcare workforce of tomorrow.”

The health science complex will have a 150-seat auditorium, a central courtyard that connects with the existing Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, a zen garden, and a 600-foot-long “wellness walk” that leads to the School of Medicine’s Biomedical Research Center.

Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million to build the complex, and the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation committed $40 million to UCI to create a nursing school and a building to house it.

Airport campus sells

The 39,866-square-feet Airport Professional Center campus in Irvine has been sold to a private investor for undisclosed terms, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

The complex has two office buildings totaling 39,866 square feet within the Irvine Business Complex. Cushman & Wakefield said the property was 65% leased.

Jeff Cole, Ed Hernandez, Nico Napolitano and Brad Brandenburg with Cushman & Wakefield’s Orange County office represented the seller, KP Airport Professional Center.

Airport Professional Center was renovated in 2009 and again in 2017. The campus has subterranean parking, an outdoor courtyard and patio areas.

Lone Star acquisition

Buchanan Street Partners in Newport Beach has acquired Waters Edge, a 351-unit apartment complex in Grand Prairie, Texas.

No terms were disclosed by the investment firm.

Waters Edge at Mansfield has 12 buildings on 13 acres and was built in 2019; it was 93% occupied at the time of sale, Buchanan Partners said. The complex is about 20 miles from major employment centers in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Buchanan Street, which was self-represented in the transaction, acquired the property from Trinsic Residential Group. The sellers were represented by Drew Kile and Joey Tumminello of Institutional Property Advisors.

Building in Las Vegas

CapRock Partners in Newport Beach has started construction on CapRock Tropical Logistics, a two-building, 1.1 million-square-foot logistics complex in North Las Vegas.

Located at 5802 and 5902 E. Tropical Parkway, CapRock Tropical Logistics is being developed on an 83-acre site after CapRock Partners acquired 24 parcels from 13 owners in early 2020.

The logistics campus will include two Class A buildings totaling 857,060 and 271,262-square-foot, respectively, and is slated to be complete by fall 2021.

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.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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