March 31, 2014 | By: Carrie Rossenfeld
CORONA DEL MAR, CA—Burnham USA has acquired a strategic commercial block of properties in Corona del Mar, a suburb of Newport Beach, from the Franklin family. The seller had purchased the portfolio in the early 1950s and has now sold the holdings to Burnham in an off-market deal for a price undisclosed to GlobeSt.com.
The acquisition spans a high-prole stretch of properties in the village beginning at the northwest intersection of Marguerite Ave. and East Coast Highway. Scott Burnham, CEO of the firm, tells GlobeSt.com that the acquisition encompasses five building tenancies: the Franklin Realty building on the hard corner, Papa’s Liquor, Directors Financial, Little Woman, and the famed Quiet Woman Restaurant. He says the firm has no immediate plans for redevelopment but intends to make some upgrades.
“We are always attracted to the high-prole landmark locations—especially within Newport Beach,” Burnham says. “This row of buildings enjoys pride of place on one of the highest visibility locations in the Village. This is considered the center of prestigious Corona del Mar Village that connects to the area’s main beach to the south and to the San Joaquin transportation corridor to the north.”
Paul Bitonti of Marcus & Millichap and Roger McKinnon of Roger’s Realty consulted on behalf of the Franklin family in the transaction. “We knew that Scott was one of the most likely and logical buyers for this asset,” Bitonti tells GlobeSt.com. “He has a track record of closing transactions and adding value to this type of real estate.”
Burnham adds that as a Newport native and longtime resident, “I consider these properties a part of our community’s culture and am very pleased to add them to our portfolio.”
Burhnam has a prior history of investing in Corona del Mar, having owned the well-known Port Theater for approximately 15 years. The firm played an instrumental role in safeguarding the theater’s historical heritage.
Burnham is the second-largest owner of individual commercial properties in Newport Beach, behind the Irvine Co. The two firms completed a rare property swap of commercial properties in Newport Center last July.
“We will always be bullish on the overall Newport Beach commercial real estate market,” says Burnham. “This city offers perhaps the best quality of life anywhere, as well as a world-class workforce and pool of consumers. For those reasons, investing in Newport Beach real estate will always be an intelligent strategy.”
Office tenants and investors feel the same way about the region. As GlobeSt.com reported in December 2013, having a Newport Beach address is seen by many US office occupiers, as well as domestic and foreign investors, as a sign of prestige that will help them in the business world.