Mike Harrah – Mr. Big

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in O.C. Restaurants, Wood Fin Hotel Cypress | Comments Off

Mike Harrah – Mr. Big

Mike Harrah’s first step. A lot of the properties he first bought were rat infested and crumbling, when he first began redeveloping buildings in Santa Ana, California. What he did, when developers were escaping to new construction in Irvine, Mike was the one who rolled up his sleeves in order to find way to quickly re-establish and rent his buildings. When Mike found his first government resident, he begun to purchase excluded mid-rise buildings, and renovate them in order to fill them up with tenants.

twist-basler-houseAbout city transformation. When building began to fill and brighten, Santa Ana – ‘Emerald city’ of his childhood started to come back. With broken windows replaced and squatters removed, crime levels fell and are currently at fifty percent, what they were before Mike started the process of redevelopment. The thing was that ornate city corners have been transformed into performance theaters, state  and county offices, the Orange County High School of the Arts (the new home of OCSHA), while historic architecture has been maintained as old banks.

Downtown Santa Ana is now home to world class restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues, all of that – thanks to Mike’s reconstruction efforts. By bringing steady rental tenants and business to the area, Mike has been able to protect downtown vibe and the historic architecture of Santa Ana while making sure that the area will be hospitable and vibrant for generations to come.

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In the Orange County Business Journal, in 2009 Mike’s profile had some highlights of some Mike’s latest accomplishments. To be exact, he owns close to eighty buildings, about four million square feet in Santa Ana’s downtown. Mike has played a key role in rejuvenating Santa Ana throughout restoring buildings, art galleries, attracting restaurants and others. In 2005, his One Broadway Plaza project won voter approval and is required by city to have fifty percent of the footage rented before beginning construction. He also finished the Pinnacle Hawaii condo building which was multi-million dollar worth and of course, that was sold out. In the previous decade, Mike has renewed a lot of central Santa Ana and he has been called the savior of the city for re-establishing old buildings. n8u4jp-b88139503z.120140716193327000g2s3mk9m.10In 2003, Mike was named the Year’ Preservationist, privileged by the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society. Caribou Industries – his company – does an estimated thirty million dollars in annual income and Mike’s office, overlooks the One Broadway Plaza site (together with a stuffed bear in the corner). Compared to the rest of the local real estate elite, Mike is notoriously distinguishable. Why? Well, standing 6’6 and sporting a known ZZ Top beard, Mike looks the part of his other hobbies – jazz drumming and helicopter piloting, but after a major helicopter accident, he managed to direct the construction of the Orange County School of the Arts building from a hospital bed. Mike Harrah as also listed in the special reports of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Also he was known as Mr. Big in the biggest city of County.