Nearly two years after buying the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club in Dana Point, Ohana Real Estate Investors is in the final phase of a $30 million guest room makeover.

The five-diamond resort, acquired by Ohana for $497 million in November 2020, is managed by Hilton and expects the remodel to be complete this month.

“We remain invested in strengthening the local economy – while preserving the character that makes Dana Point a sought-after California beach community,” said James Cole, a partner at Ohana Real Estate Investors.

Each of the resort’s 400 guest rooms and suites is getting new flooring, furnishing and finishes. Other upgrades include fireboxes for 77 ground-level rooms and suites.

The Fireside Terrace guest room was among $30 million in renovations to guest rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach in Dana Point. (Courtesy of Ohana Real Estate Investors)

The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club in Dana Point is in the final phase of a $30 million guest room makeover. (Courtesy of Ohana Real Estate Investors)

The deluxe one-bedroom suite was among $30 million in renovations to guest rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach in Dana Point. (Courtesy of Ohana Real Estate Investors)



The resort will convert 20 of its Studio Suites to one-bedroom suites, which will have a living room separate from the bedroom, plus a private terrace.

Waldorf Astoria has 32 resorts in its portfolio. Monarch Beach Resort first opened in 2001 under the St. Regis brand, which it dropped in 2016. The blufftop resort sits on 162 acres and has a 6-acre beach club, three swimming pools and an 18-hole golf course.

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Costa Mesa warehouse sells to BLT in Santa Monica

BLT Enterprises in Santa Monica has acquired a 12,620-square-foot warehouse building in Costa Mesa on a 3.02-acre industrial lot.

Located at 3539 Howard Way and next door to another BLT-owned property operated by FedEx, the vacant building will allow the investment firm to court transportation and logistics tenants.

The purchase was part of a seven-building transaction in Southern California for a combined $130 million. Located in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego countie, the properties represent 270,000 square feet of buildings on 18 acres.

“Utilizing our seasoned team’s investment and market acumen, BLT saw the opportunity to expand our footprint in the Southern California markets where we actively own and manage creative office and industrial properties,” said Lukas Huberman, Director of Acquisitions.

Affordable housing investment firm closes fund at $153M

WNC, an Irvine-based investment firm that specializes in affordable housing, has closed its WNC Institutional Tax Credit Fund 53, L.P., a low-income housing tax credit fund with $153.4 million in equity.

The money was raised from nine institutional investors, WNC said, and will be used to build and renovate more than 1,300 affordable housing units across 16 properties in 10 states, including California, and the District of Columbia. Some housing units go to veterans; homeless, formerly homeless or at-risk of homelessness; and mobility, hearing and visually impaired residents.

WNC said the total equity raise since inception now tops $7 billion.

“WNC has spent more than five decades working alongside investment partners to provide safe, high quality, and affordable housing to families in need across the nation,” said WNC Executive Vice President of Investor Relations Christine Cormier.

Tom VanDorpe will be president and chief executive for the newly merged Orange-based VCA Consultants and Denver-based Enayat Schneider Smith Engineering Inc. (Courtesy of VCA Consultants)

VCA in Orange merges with Denver firm

Orange-based VCA Consultants, a structural engineering consulting services firm, has merged with Denver-based Enayat Schneider Smith Engineering Inc.

The two companies will be co-branded for a short period before ESS transitions to VCA Structural. Tom VanDorpe will serve as president/CEO for both locations, according to Mark Van Gaale, principal at VCA.

With the addition of ESS, VCA expands its operations to the Rocky Mountain region. VCA has 170 employees with offices in Orange, Oakland, Chicago, Honolulu and now Denver.

“We are very proud of our partnership with ESS. It positions us to bring out the best for everyone involved, especially our clients,” said Tom VanDorpe, CEO of VCA. Travis Smith, senior vice president at ESS, stated, “We are excited to combine forces to create a more powerful structural engineering firm. VCA is committed to excellence, which matches our business philosophy.”

As vice president of national sales, Steven L. Senft will lead the newly formed Chicago Title Hospitality Group in Newport Beach. (Courtesy of Chicago Title National Commercial Services California)

On the move

Chicago Title National Commercial Services California, a member of the Fidelity National Financial family of companies, has launched Chicago Title Hospitality Group.

The new group will be led by hotel industry veteran Steven L. Senft as vice president of national sales. He will be based in Chicago Title’s Newport Beach office.

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Senft has 24 years in the hospitality industry. During his career, he has been involved in the sale, development, management, advisory and financing of more than $15 billion in hotel assets representing over 1,000 hotels.

Real estate transactions, leases and new projects, industry hires, new ventures and upcoming events are compiled from press releases by contributing writer Karen Levin. Submit items and high-resolution photos via email to Business Editor Samantha Gowen at Please allow at least a week for publication. All items are subject to editing for clarity and length.