The Preservationist: The First Step
When Mike Harrah first began redeveloping buildings in Santa Ana, California, many of the properties he first bought were crumbling and rat infested. When developers were fleeing to new construction in Irvine, Mike rolled up his sleeves and found ways to quickly restore and rent his buildings. After finding his first government tenant, Mike began purchasing foreclosed mid-rise buildings, renovating them and filling them up with tenants.
As building began to brighten and fill, the “Emerald City” Santa Ana of Mike's childhood started to reappear. With squatters removed and broken windows replaced, crime levels fell and are currently at 50% what they were before Mike started the redevelopment process. Historic architecture has been preserved as old banks and ornate city corners have been transformed into county and state offices, performance theaters and the new home of OSHA, the Orange County High School of the Arts.
Ensuring the Future
Thanks to Mike's rejuvenation efforts, downtown Santa Ana is now home to art galleries, world class restaurants, and entertainment venues. By bringing business and steady rental tenants to the area, Mike has been able to preserve the historic architecture and downtown vibe of Santa Ana while ensuring the area will be vibrant and hospitable for generations to come.
“Mike Harrah has made tremendous contributions to Santa Ana."
- Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters