Tireco spends $29M to buy Santa Ana office building

Twin property sold for less early this year, but deal still represents a 43% loss for seller

Tireco Spends $29M to Buy Office Building in Santa Ana

Tireco CEO Justin Liu and 3 Hutton Centre Drive in Santa Ana (Getty, Tireco, Google Maps)

An affiliate of Tireco has picked up a 199,800-square-foot office tower in Santa Ana for $28.9 million, or nearly $4 million more than its twin traded for early this year.

3 Hutton LLC, an affiliate of the Gardena-based automotive tire distributor, bought the 10-story building at 3 Hutton Centre Drive, in the South Coast Metro area, the Orange County Business Journal reported. The seller was Cypress Office Properties, based in San Diego.

The deal works out to $145 per square foot.

In February, a sister property at 4 Hutton Centre Drive within the 46-acre Hutton Centre sold for $24.9 million, or $115 per square foot. The seller of the 217,000-square-foot tower took a 55 percent loss.

But while the value of 3 Hutton was 26 percent greater than its twin next door, its $28.9 price was 43 percent less than its 2016 purchase price of $50.5 million, or $253 per square foot.

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Brokers hope the recent uptick in pricing is a sign that the worst is over for the beleaguered office market in Orange County and beyond, which have suffered from a shift to remote work and rising interest rates.

They say the sale suggests office pricing in Orange County may have bounced up from lows early this year.

“They are physically very similar buildings,” Cushman & Wakefield’s Jeff Cole told the Business Journal, referring to 3 and 4 Hutton. 

The tower at 3 Hutton was 65 percent leased at the time of sale. Tenants include law firm Callahan & Blaine, which has its name atop the tower.

The new owner of 3 Hutton plans to hold onto the property as a long-term investment while boosting its occupancy, unidentified sources told the newspaper. 

— Dana Bartholomew