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SANTA ANA, CA-Highridge Partners of Los Angeles has paid $31 million for the 246,819-square-foot 3 MacArthur office tower, which sold for $83 million in 2007. Highridge, which says the acquisition is the first in a $500 million investment program, acquired the property from Tishman Speyer Office Fund in an all-cash sale brokered by CB Richard Ellis.

The 3 MacArthur building is an 11-story tower that was 78% leased at the time of the sale. It sits on a three-acre site and was formerly known as 3 Imperial Promenade; it is part of a 65-acre master-planned mixed-use development known as MacArthur Place that formerly was known as Hutton Centre. Tishman Speyer Office Fund bought the property in mid-2007, according to a GlobeSt.com report at the time.

Highridge says that its $500 million investment program will target class A properties in top-tier office markets in California. The company, led by founder John Long and executive vice president Jack Mahoney, sold its complete portfolio in 2006 and 2007 when real estate values were peaking. Long says that the firm is willing and able to move quickly and cites the 3 MacArthur deal as an example, pointing out that Highridge completed the transaction in 40 days.

Mahoney says that Highridge is targeting “established office properties in mature destination markets.” He says that businesses want to locate in areas that offer amenities, such as retail and restaurants like those of the MacArthur Place mixed-use development. Such properties, he says, “will be the first to rebound.” Highridge has hired Santa Ana-based RiverRock Real Estate Group for on-site property management and CBRE for leasing.

Tishman Speyer Office Fund, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange, states in a recent public filing that the level of leasing at 3 MacArthur declined 2.6% from June 30, 2008 to the Sept. 30 date of the filing. When Tishman bought the property in 2007, GlobeSt.com’s report said that the building generated multiple offers in highly contested bidding.

In the sale to Highridge, CBRE represented both the buyer and the seller. The seller was represented by Michael Kane, Robert Smith, Karen Scholte, Paul Jones and Dean Chandler of CBRE’s Newport Beach office, and Mark Friend of the firm’s Anaheim office. The buyer was represented by Kevin Shannon and Ken White of CBRE’s South Bay office. Kane, Smith, Scholte, Chandler and Friend were also part of a CBRE team that brokered the 2007 sale of the building.

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