October 2017 – Laurus Corp. acquires Saddleback Financial Center in Orange County, CA
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., — Laurus Corp., a U.S.-based private real estate investment and development firm, has acquired the Saddleback Financial Center, a 73,000-square foot, institutional quality office building in Orange County’s highly affluent community of Laguna Hills. Laurus will implement a business plan to renovate and refresh the property to be a highly desirable location for both medical and professional services tenants in the area. Strategically located on the Saddleback Memorial Medical Center campus, the building is located next to one of Orange County’s most successful hospitals, which was recently awarded Healthgrade’s 50 Best Hospitals in American. Orange County is the headquarters of several Fortune 500 companies, with a general office market consisting of over 86 million square feet and achieving a direct vacancy rate of 11.5% in Q1 2017, with minimal increase in supply. The medical office market, also is robust, consisting of over 19 million square feet, with an even tighter direct vacancy rate of 8.7% in 2016.
Saddleback is situated in South Orange County’s rapidly evolving Laguna Woods Urban Village Specific Plan, providing a truly vibrant and walkable atmosphere with a wide range of options for dining, shopping and entertainment. In August 2016 a $400 million renovation of the adjacent Five Lagunas (former Laguna Hills Mall) began, undergoing redevelopment into an urban mixed-use village with revamped interiors and facade for over 60 retailers, new restaurants, luxury cinema, fitness center, one-acre green space and 1,000 luxury apartments, all positively transforming the immediate area and establishing itself as a premier live-work-play destination and a new downtown core for the area. The building further benefits from immediate access to executive and employee housing. The only significant developable land exists in close proximity and has more than 24,000 new homes coming online and under development, positioning the South County submarket as the ultimate business hub of the region as well as one of the most educated and affluent locations on the West Coast. The immediate five-mile radius boasts an executive housing market with a median housing value of $609,000 and an average household income of $116,000.
Orange County has a diverse industry base, and is one of the fastest growing tech markets with an annual payroll in the sector reaching $8.2 billion. The medical office market in Orange County will continue to gain momentum and serve as one of the more appealing real estate classes as the population ages and has increased healthcare demand and spending, strengthening the marketplace. According to CoStar, current rental rates in the Orange County medical market recently hit a new high, surpassing the previous peak in Q4 2007.
This area has seen population growth of 6.4% since 2009 and is forecasted to increase by 5.1% through 2021 – outpacing both national and California growth through 2020. Known for its high-quality life with its convergence of beaches, thriving economy, direct access to major transportation networks, and outstanding educational institutions Orange County’s economy remains strong and is expected to improve in key fundamentals over the next decade.
“By injecting capital into building infrastructure and aesthetics, Laurus Corp will update and reposition the property, thus moving it from a Class A- office building primarily focused on professional services to a premier Class A office capable of serving both medical and traditional office users – a unique offering compared to other buildings in the area,” said Andres Szita, Chairman of Laurus Corp. “By doing so, we will capture the growing market as overall vacancy continues to compress.”
“Given the increase in demand for medical space in the market and the exceptional demographics of Orange County,” said Austin Khan, Chief Investment Officer of Laurus Corp., “Saddleback Financial Center presented a unique opportunity to acquire a high-quality project in a top-tier market with significant value-add upside through renovation and repositioning.”
According to a report published by CBRE (who was not involved with this project), Orange Countywas ranked as fourth largest office market on the West Coast and among the top-30 in the United States. With very little supply added since 2008, and an unemployment rate at 3.3% demand remains strong in the supply constrained market.
Saddleback Financial Center is located at 24012 Calle de la Planta, Laguna Hills, CA 92653.
About Laurus Corp.
Laurus Corp. is a real estate investment and development company that specializes in hotels and resorts, office buildings, multifamily and mixed-use properties. With more than $1.2 billion in assets under management, Laurus employs an entrepreneurial investment strategy designed to consistently achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns by creating capital appreciation opportunities through repositioning, restructuring, re-development and intensive post acquisition asset management. The company was founded in 1999 by Andres and Jean Paul Szita, and is affiliated with Ethika Investments, LLC, a real estate private equity firm.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities or investment advice, nor is it intended to be a description of all material factors an investor should consider before making any investment. This press release, together with other statements and information publicly disseminated by the Company, may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, the Company disclaims any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Actual future performance, outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.
Media Inquiries, Contact:
Frederique Szita, VP Corporate Communications