LaSalle sells OC office building at 55% loss

Entity linked to investor Joe Wen buys 220K sf South Coast Metro property for $25M

LaSalle Investment Management CEO Mark Gabbay and 4 Hutton Centre Drive
LaSalle Investment Management CEO Mark Gabbay and 4 Hutton Centre Drive (LaSalle, 4 Hutton Centre)

LaSalle Investment Management has sold an office building in Orange County for 55 percent less than what the firm bought it for in 2019. 

The investment firm sold 4 Hutton Centre Drive, a 217,000-square-foot property in the South Coast Metro area of Santa Ana, for $24.9 million, or about $115 per square foot, records show. Newmark announced the deal last week, but did not disclose the seller or the price. 

In 2019, LaSalle bought the building for $55.4 million, or $255 per square foot, records show. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.

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The deal is an example of how office values have plummeted over the last four years, as a result of the remote work trend and stagnant vacancy rates.

The South Coast Metro property is currently 57 percent vacant, according to a listing on LoopNet, a potential signal as to why the value of the property has decreased over the last four years. 

A limited liability company called Ares Asset Management — not the same as Ares Management, the large L.A.-based alternative investment firm — linked to Joe Wen bought the property, according to California Secretary of State and Orange County property records. 

Wen, who runs Taiwan-based conglomerate Formosa, was once known for owning the largest home in Orange County. He sold that 14,000-square-foot estate in Newport Coast for $21 million in February 2022, according to the Orange County Register, which cited property records. 

Wen and his family also donated $20 million in June to the University of California — Irvine’s outpatient clinic facility.