OC 50 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Profiles of the County’s Most Influential Business People

Mr. Big in county’s biggest city

Mike Harrah’s 2009 profile in the Orange County Business Journal highlights some of Harrah’s latest accomplishments. Namely, he owns close to 80 buildings, about 4 million square feet in Santa Ana’s downtown.   Harrah has played a key role in revitalizing Santa Ana through restoring buildings, attracting restaurants, art galleries and others.  His One Broadway Plaza project won voter approval in 2005 and is required by city to have 50% of the footage leased before beginning construction.   In the last year he finished the multi-million dollar Pinnacle Hawaii condo building which is sold out.  In the past decade, Harrah has redeveloped much of central Santa Ana and has been called the city’s savior for restoring old buildings.  Honored by the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society in 2003, Michael Harrah was named Preservationist of the Year.  His company, Caribou Industries, does an estimated $30 million in annual revenue and Mike’s office, complete with a stuffed bear in the corner, overlooks the One Broadway Plaza site.  Harrah is notoriously distinguishable from the rest of the local real estate elite.  Standing at 6’6 and sporting a ZZ Top beard, Harrah looks the part of his other hobbies—helicopter piloting and jazz drumming, but he managed to direct the construction of the Orange County School of the Arts building from a hospital bed after a major helicopter accident.  Harrah was also listed in the 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008 special reports.

Read More in the 2009 Orange County Business Journal Special Report