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January 6, 2011 
 
 
GOODBYE CHIPS,
HELLO CONDOS

We're curious what you think are the hottest topics in real estate. Have an idea or topic for a future event? Send us an e-mail.

 

The Shopoff Group (no, it’s not an elimination challenge on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) has teamed up with DRA Advisors to buy a 25-acre site on Jamboree Blvd in Newport Beach. It’ll be the city’s largest urban infill location.

 

The project—Uptown Newport Village—calls for up to 1,244 condo units plus more than 11k SF of support retail. Shopoff CIO Tim McSunas tells us it's already received some preliminary nods from Newport Beach. In particular, he says the City approved the integrated conceptual development plan last fall. The site plan was integrated with an adjacent property owned by Koll, which plans to build a separate residential development. Tim expects it to take at least two years to develop a specific plan and EIR and go through the rest of the approval process. The start of construction depends on the market.

The JV, Uptown Newport LP, purchased the property from semiconductor company Conexant Systems. Two leased buildings totaling 438k SF now occupy the site. Tim says the main reason Shopoff, an Irvine-based real estate venture capital and investment firm, bought the property is that it has buildings with rent-paying tenants (that's the best kind, we hear). The biggest is chip manufacturer Tower Jazz, with a lease that runs until 2017. Tim says Uptown Newport Village will be developed in phases, so construction can get under way while Jazz remains in place.

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THAT’S A WRAP

 

The holidays may be over, but the joy of giving goes on at Arden Realty. Last month, more than 65 employees in Arden’s LA office skipped holding a traditional year-end party to spend a day at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, where they wrapped gifts and assembled care packages headed for US troops stationed away from home. It was part of the armory’s annual, community-wide packaging event for “Operation Gratitude.” Arden marketing specialist Nikki Wetzel gets the credit for approaching the non-profit volunteer organization four years ago with the idea of setting up a private packaging day for the company’s employees.

Arden CEO Joaquin DeMonet does his part to fill boxes (and appears to have made it to the last one). Each of the company’s regions and departments donate their time in at least two volunteer efforts each year—seven per year for the larger regions as well as the corporate office. The company’s employees surpassed their goal of volunteering 2,500 hours (14 per employee) last year, with the “Operation Gratitude” day totaling 400 hours alone. Other volunteer events included manning water stations for a Susan G. Komen walk in San Diego, wrapping and packing toys for the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Redmond, Ore., and repairing a home under the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program in Salt Lake City.


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TIPPERARY’S FIRST US STORE

 

Despite what the song says, it’s not a long way to Tipperary now that the Irish crystal manufacturer has opened its first US retail store at The Citadel Outlet Mall in the City of Commerce. It’s also Tipperary Crystal’s only outlet store in the world. The new location is part of a 157k SF expansion at the Assyrian palace-styled Citadel, where 18 new stores have opened after 10 months of construction by owner/developer Craig Realty Group. The project, which increased the center by more than 50%, includes a newly opened 200-space parking structure.

Tell me have you heard? What's the word? Contact Julie@bisnow.com.

 
 
 
 
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