R.E.D. Alert: Why Mikey Harrah cannot build his dream

R.E.D.(Real Estate Diversion) Alert. When you need to take a break from politics, give your mind a rest in Real Estate.

Real estate booms and real estate busts are cyclical in nature.  All indications are in that we now have a bubbly bursting of real estate. Bold construction projects like high rise buildings and high density towers are seriously struggling in Irvine, the Inland Empire and various other boom-town real estate areas.   Real estate busts happen all over the world and some take many years to resolve. 

#1 Broadway Plaza is currently on hold because Michael Harrah cannot secure a 50% occupancy rate going forward – a target rate which would allow construction to begin on his dream towers.   Is this contingency necessary?  Why not just let the guy build in the middle of Santa Ana and take the natural consequences of probable unsustainable low occupancy and lack of rent receipts?  Would it even matter if the place was left completely unoccupied?  A lot of action in Santa Ana seems to come in a few days late and about 10 bucks short, so why can’t the guy just power through the bureaucracy and build his dream?   

Well, you’ve GOT to see this video clip of what happens to new construction that gets neglected ( I swiped it from the Irvine Housing Blog IHB ).                             Neglect?  Hmmmm……  

–>   Video of abandoned high rise condo projects in Thailand from the Asian financial crisis of 1998

 Some people are going to question the fairness of showing busted up and abandoned third-world high rise projects when discussing the proposed tower projects in Santa Ana, California, USA.  Backwoods, faulty thinking got those poverty stricken high rises into such a terrible mess.  Santa Ana, by comparison has ethical, full-range planners  leading the city’s real estate and development decisions.

Developer Mikey would never neglect a real estate project, you say?  Wait!  Well, except for that little promised project of the wrecked-up Twist-Basler House which continues to rot on the land that Mikey needs for his towers project.   Anyone else think that Mikey’s broke and that’s why he’s not kept his promise to Santa Ana’s citizens to relocate the historic home so that it can be restored properly?


If the Twist Basler project is any indication of Mr. Harrah’s commitment to getting things smartly done, then maybe this real estate downturn has a silver lining for Santa Ana because  the city will be spared the huge footprint that Harrah had planned for it.   The Twist-Basler project seemed pretty simple and straight forward compared to Harrah’s proposed towers project which seemed quite complex and even a bit Pie-in-the Sky.   Poor Mike is overwhelmed by what needs to be done here.  I think one unsightly and unfinished project at a time by Mike Harrah is more than enough this year.  

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