Partner has a strong presence in Orange County, California. As the hub of financial and banking services in Orange County, Santa Ana has attracted start ups as well as large national banks. The Partner Santa Ana office, previously in Irvine, provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys in support of commercial real estate transactions. Rob Vaughn, REA and Terry Dungan head the Santa Ana team, each with over 20 years of experience in environmental consulting and residential and commerical construction respectively.
Partner is the national leader in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments by volume. Most reports are performed to meet the standards of ASTM E1527-13. Partner often customizes reports to meet individual client or agency lender's (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) requirements. Our Irvine staff is familiar with the small but important differences between city requirements in Orange County, such as the processes to obtain country records.
In addition to providing Phase I ESAs, Partner provides Property Condition Assessments and Commercial Building Inspections for a wide variety of clients; including, CMBS lenders, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac lenders, and equity clients. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set within ASTM E2018-08 guidelines.
While Partner offers Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) to every seismic zone in the United States, those that do commercial or multifamily transactions in Orange County, truly understand the importance of an accurate PML report. Understanding the local geology and correctly reflecting the math in a PML report is most important to those that purchase or lend on commercial or multifamily property in Orange County.
Partner is a coordinator of American Land Title Association (ALTA) Surveys/American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), Boundary Surveys, Topographic Surveys, and Zoning Reports across the United States for use in commercial transactions. We effectively handle, and facilitate the coordination of surveyors, title, ordering, process, product and delivery. We manage the entire process of acquiring your survey and can effectively manage single-site or multi-site transactions.
Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the Orange County Water District. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-97(2002).
While conducting a Phase I ESA, Partner does a visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Should it become evident that Asbestos Containing Materials may be present, Partner can perform sampling and testing to evaluate if Asbestos Containing Material is in fact present.
A zoning report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, Irvine and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations; such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
4 Reasons Why Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are Different in California
1) Regional Water Quality Control Boards: In most states the regulations are statewide rules with maybe some variations for cities and counties. In California, the State Water Board grants a lot of power and autonomy to the Regional Water Quality Control Boards. The regional water boards are organized generally by watershed and may split counties. Water boards may have very different regulations. For example, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board developed Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs) for soil and groundwater contamination, whereas the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board uses different screening levels including Soil Screening Levels, CHHSLs for soil-gas (see below), and Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for groundwater.
2) CHHSLs: The California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the California Human Health Screening Levels (CHHSLs) in 2005. The CHHSLs provide the user with a chemical specific look up table for what levels of soil gas or indoor air concentrations represent a threat to human health. CHHSLs are not intended to be regulatory numbers, but are often treated as such. CHHSLs are also famously conservative. You need an environmental consultant doing your Phase I ESA that knows how to interpret soil gas and indoor air data in relation to CHHSLs and this requires a lot of California experience.
3) CUPAs: Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) have a lot of power in California. CUPAs are city or county agencies that have been more or less deputized to handle certain regulatory functions. An example of a CUPA is the City of Los Angeles Fire Department, which oversees releases from underground storage tanks (USTs), termed leaking USTs or LUSTs. To do proper regulatory due diligence during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment your environmental professional must understand the California CUPAs.
4) CEQA: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s equivalent of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment sometimes has to deal with CEQA/NEPA issues like wetlands, endangered species, and/or historical resources as additional scope items.
Southern California Experience
Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our robust Southern California consulting practice include:
Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments, Tank Removal, Soil Remediation, Long Beach, CA
Partner performed a complex multi-disciplinary Property Condition Assessment in support of an acquisition of a 14-story office in downtown Los Angeles. Partner assisted the client in fully understanding the asset and negotiating appropriate allowance for some serious deferred maintenance conditions.
Site Remediation, Orange County, CA
Partner completed a major site remediation project of a portion of the Orange County Great Park, formerly the El Toro Marine base.
Property Condition Assessments, 69 site portfolio in Southern California
Partner completed Property Condition Assessments on a portfolio of office, medical and airport buildings in several cities throughout California, mostly located in Los Angeles and Orange Counties (Anaheim, Arcadia, Bellflower, Burbank, Carson, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Covina, Cypress, Del Mar, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Gardena, Granada Hills, Hollywood, Inglewood, La Palma, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey, Newport Beach, North Hollywood, Norwalk, Pomona, San Diego, Santa Ana, Sherman Oaks, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Van Nuys and Woodland Hills).
Six Site Portfolio Phase I ESA, Property Condition Assessment, Orange County, California
Portfolio due diligence of this size (and much larger) are routine for Partner. Partner completed six Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and Property Condition Assessments in support of a multi-family portfolio in Orange County, California. The assets were being refinanced by Freddie Mac lenders.
Probable Maximum Loss Reports, 33 site portfolio in Southern California
Partner performed a Probable Maximum Loss Reports on 33 multi-family assets in Orange County, mostly in Irvine, California and Newport Beach, California. Partner’s robust Seismic Risk Assessment practice routinely supports Fannie Mae DUS Lenders in assessing seismic risk.
Environmental Due Diligence on 330 Gas Stations in Southern California
Partner performed environmental due diligence on 330 gas stations located in the six large Southern California Counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside. The gas stations had a lot of subsurface data and over 100 open cases. Partner reduced a large amount of data and quantified the portfolio’s environmental liability for our client.
PNAs and PMLs for a 16-Site Portfolio, Los Angeles and Orange County, CA
Partner completed a 16 site portfolio of Physical Needs Assessments (PNA) and Probable Maximum Loss (PML) reports on multifamily properties throughout the Los Angeles metro area. Property locations included: Inglewood, Garden Grove, Gardena, El Cajon, Hawthorne, Harbor City and Anaheim.
Phase I ESAs, Phase II ESAs, PCAs and Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs), CA
Partner completed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental Testing, Property Condition Reports and Seismic Probable Maximum Loss Reports for a ten site portfolio of chain hotels and apartment buildings across California, including Orange County (Brea, Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, Santa Ana, Temecula and Walnut).
Equity Phase I ESAs, PCAs, and PMLs for a 24 Site Portfolio in California
Partner completed a 24 site portfolio of equity-level Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Property Condition Assessments and Probable Maximum Loss Reports on office properties throughout California. Properties were located in San Diego, Ontario, Lake Forest, Walnut, Tustin, Glendale and Woodland.