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2016 Preview: Real Estate - Orange County Business Journal

Dec 22 2015

By Mark Mueller

Expect to see a lot more construction cranes join the skyline this year. OC’s commercial real estate market could have its busiest year for new starts in a decade, thanks to a bevy of developments in a variety of product types across the county. On the office front, nearly 2.5 million square feet worth of buildings could break ground in Irvine and Tustin during the year, along with potential big projects in Anaheim and Santa Ana. Most of the work will be for speculative buildings, putting pressure on developers to find tenants willing to pay top dollar for space. The area’s tight industrial market also has a few projects in the works, most notably Western Realco’s planned redevelopment of the former Beckman Coulter campus in Fullerton, a multibuilding project that could approach 1 million square feet.

An active hotel development pipeline here should get busier next year, with a 14-story, 271-room flagship Marriott hotel being built by R.D. Olson in the Irvine Spectrum among the most notable new projects slated to break ground.

The Source, a shopping and entertainment center in Buena Park, is expected to join recently opened retail projects in Huntington Beach and San Clemente that are in the leasing phase. New housing starts should also continue their brisk pace at the area’s biggest master developments, although builders will be keeping a close eye on the financial situation in Asia, one of OC’s biggest sources of homebuyers, particularly in Irvine.