Decron is unloading CRE assets ahead of potential statewide property tax hike

Onni’s acquisition of office complex in Huntington Beach comes as Decron sheds its commercial real estate holdings to avoid fallout from Prop 13 passage

Onni Group President Rossano de Cotiis, Decron Properties President & CEO David Nagel and Ocean Plaza
Onni Group President Rossano de Cotiis, Decron Properties President & CEO David Nagel and Ocean Plaza

Decron Properties is in the process of shedding its commercial real estate holdings across California, concerned the passage of a ballot question could result in a spike in property taxes.

The latest to be sold is Ocean Plaza, a mixed-use complex on 8.6 acres in Huntington Beach. Onni Group paid $97.3 million for the 300,000-square-foot office tower and retail development. Wilshire-based Decron Properties announced the deal in a release Monday.

Vancouver-based Onni has been building large-scale multifamily units at a rapid pace in Downtown Los Angeles.

Located at 17011 Beach Boulevard, Decron’s Huntington Beach complex includes a 207,645-square-foot office tower and 108,785 square feet of retail space. There is restaurant space included in that retail, as well as a six-level parking garage.

Occupancy at the 14-story office tower was 85 percent, with tenants that include Ocean Media and UFC Gym. The retail portion was 95 percent occupied.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

A team led by Marc Renard at Cushman & Wakefield represented Decron.

Decron purchased the mixed-use site in 2006 for an undisclosed amount, records show. The firm then invested $17 million to rehabilitate the 1980s-built structure.

Decron said in a statement that the sale is part of its larger push to unload commercial real estate properties ahead of the Proposition 13 ballot question, which voters will decide on in the 2020 election. Its approval could result in much heavier property taxes for commercial landlords statewide.

Decron has been moving into the multifamily sector instead — its portfolio now includes about 8,000 units across the West Coast.

Onni has also been an active player in multifamily, specifically in Downtown L.A. Over the past few years, the firm has proposed building around 4,000 units. It recently secured a $550 million loan to fund its purchase of the Wilshire Courtyard.