Donald Bren

Donald Bren

Chairman at The Irvine Company

Donald Bren
By September 15, 2023 9:00 AM

For Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire, Irvine Company is the biggest multifamily landlord — by far. The private Newport Beach-based company owns approximately 44,880 units throughout the three regions, which is almost two and a half times as many as the next-largest owner, according to CoStar data. 

Irvine Company’s multifamily portfolio includes 93 properties in those areas that combine for 57.4 million square feet, and an impressive 1.5 percent vacancy rate. And the firm has massive residential projects underway, including a project with 1,261 homes at outdoor shopping center The Market Place, 1,180 homes in Orange Heights, and 4,500 apartments in the city of Irvine.

But, of course, Irvine Company develops, owns and manages a lot more than residential real estate. For one, it’s the largest office landlord in California with more than 590 properties, and it serves tenants such as Amazon and Apple. In fact, in July, Apple added another 55,700 square feet to its other leases at Irvine Company’s Spectrum Terrace. Other recent notable office leases include Axonics signing to take nearly 145,500 square feet in April, marking the largest office deal in Orange County in two years. In December 2022, Irvine announced three leases totaling 92,130 square feet at the Fox Plaza tower in L.A.’s Century City. And Western Asset Management’s 184,581-square-foot renewal with Irvine Company in Pasadena was the largest lease in Greater L.A. in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Irvine Company also plans to build a 532,000-square-foot life sciences complex next to the University of California-Irvine campus, and last year the company sold the 541-room Hotel Irvine, the city’s largest hotel, for $135 million, as well as a Santa Monica apartment complex for $330 million.

Bren has been running Irvine Company since he led a group that acquired the firm in 1977. In 1996, he bought out his partners to become sole owner. The company famously started the Orange County city that bears its name, as well as the Newport Coast community.