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HFF Arranges Acquisition of 1400 16th Street by ASB Real Estate Investments

16 Jul 2014, 2:23 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As the city’s office market continues to be white-hot, San Francisco’s assets are increasingly in demand. The latest asset to trade hands is the building located at 1400 16th Street—a historic property sold by Jessica McClintock Inc. to a venture consisting of ASB Real Estate Investments, SKS Partners and ProspectHill Group. An HFF team led by managing director Steven Golubchik, director John Simerlein and senior real estate analyst Josh DiSalle represented the seller in the deal.

The art-deco warehouse and office building was originally developed in 1938 and has been under the ownership of Jessica McClintock Inc. for the past four decades. Totaling approximately 100,000 square feet of space, the reinforced concrete building occupying an entire city block at 1400-1450 16th Street offers great access to nearby I-80 and I-280, as well as Highway 101. The building is also located in the vicinity of several San Francisco Muni bus routes offering connections to heavily trafficked transport lines Caltrain and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

The SoMa district is one of the best-performing submarkets in terms of its R&D assets. Along with Potrero Hill, the area features the largest prototyping and manufacturing tenant clusters, HFF managing director Steven Golubchik said in a press statement announcing the transaction. According to another member of the HFF team that handled the transaction, John Simerlein, “the property’s ideal location, and proximity to San Francisco’s most rapidly evolving neighborhoods with a mixture of housing, jobs, entertainment destinations, and transportation options – combined, provide a 24/7 live, work and play environment.”

According to the HFF reps, the opportunity to acquire a property of this type led to serious interest from a number of potential investors from both the local and national investment scene.

Image courtesy of Google StreetView 

Potential Alameda Point Developers Line Up for Development Opportunities as Initiative Gains Momentum

9 Jul 2014, 6:48 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Local authorities have long tried to get a major development project going at former Navy base, Alameda Point. Currently, nine different development teams have submitted their applications in response to a request for qualifications, in order to have a shot at working on the 82-acre parcel located on San Francisco Bay. The list of applicants is currently under review by local authorities. The city previously issued a request for quotation (RFQ) for a 68-acre residential and commercial mixed-use project along the main entrance to Alameda Point.

The developers are vying for the opportunity to develop about 800 residential units, as well as a mixed-use component at the 82-acre site. The parcel, adjacent to the Seaplane Lagoon, is part of the plot of land that has been vacant for 17 years now, mainly due to local opposition directly linked to the fear that excessive development would clog the bridges and tunnel that facilitate traffic to and from Alameda.

According to The San Francisco Business Times, the companies that responded to the RFQ include names such as Alameda Point Partners, Brookfield Homes, Catellus, Mission Bay Development Group, Rising Realty Partners, CIM Group, Tim Lewis Communities, Trumark, Williams & Dame Development with Zelman Development and Langley Investment Properties. Of the nine applicants, four of the companies are in contention for the commercial component at Alameda Point. Mission Bay Development, Trumark, Catellus and CIM are the four companies competing for the commercial project.

Alameda Point is an 878-acre section of the decommissioned Naval Air Station Alameda, located in the inner part of the San Francisco Bay about four miles from downtown Oakland, Calif. The project is set to provide a significant number of economic development through job creation, millions of dollars in tax revenues, and over one thousand housing units.

Image courtesy of alamedapointinfo.com

Zendesk HQ Acquired by ASB Real Estate Investments in $60 Million Deal

2 Jul 2014, 7:43 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

989 Market Street, the San Francisco home of cloud-based help desk provider Zendesk, just traded hands in a deal worth approximately $61.3 million. The office asset was acquired by ASB Real Estate Investments from seller Harbert Management Corporation, a deal in which the seller received more than double what it had paid for the property back in 2011. This recent purchase was made on behalf of ASB’s Allegiance Real Estate Fund, a $3.5 billion vehicle.

Located between 5th and 6th Streets in the Mid-Market district, 989 Market Street offers a total of 111,497 square feet of Class A office space. Zendesk and Zoosk, a social dating service, are the two tenants at the six-story building, currently taking up approximately 94 percent of the available space. The building also provides 13,000 square feet of street-level retail space with Market Street frontage, currently under contract with Blick Art Materials, an art supplier.

The building offers floorplates of 17,000 square feet that also offer ceiling heights of between 10 and 15 feet. The property offers great proximity to Union Square, as well as Powell Street and Civic Center BART subway stations. The area will soon add a nearby access point to Caltrain. The President and CEO of ASB Real Estate Investments, Robert Bellinger, the new owner of 989 Market Street, noted that “led by Twitter, Spotify, Yammer and Intuit, new and expanding tech companies have made the Mid-Market District a location of choice, leading to a market renaissance, from which our investors can take advantage.”

He also pointed out that given the property’s proximity to Union Square and the amount of premier retailing along Market St., will translate into sustained interest for the retail component of the building.

1155 Market Street Sold by Laurus Corporation for $72 Million

26 Jun 2014, 12:04 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Laurus Corporation recently offloaded one of its most high-profile properties for a fee of $72.6 million. The private real estate investment and development firm has sold its 1155 Market Street in San Francisco, resulting in 56 percent Internal Rate of Return for investors.

1155 Market Street is an 11-story office asset that has been under the ownership of Laurus since 2011. The building offers a total of 140,000 square feet of rentable space, which was almost completely unoccupied when the property was acquired by Laurus. Since the acquisition, the owner increased the office asset’s occupancy by up to 75 percent by completing a leasing agreement with the City and County of San Francisco for a 10-year term. The lease came as a result of the extensive renovations carried out by the owner. Around $14 million was invested by Laurus into the refurbishment of various parts of the building including the façade, the lobby, common areas and elevators.

The improvements brought to the building have earned the asset LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as Ashrae compliance.

According to a press statement announcing the sale, the CEO of Laurus Corporation, Philip Cyburt noted that the initial acquisition of the asset came during “the early stages of revitatlization” of the mid-market area. The company’s Chairman and Co-Founder Andres Szita expressed his satisfaction at his company’s success with the asset: “Renovation, leasing and disposition efforts were not exempt from challenges, yet a laser-focused attention to detail from the organization proved to be key to success.”  


Demand for Space in the Bay Area Continues as Three Large Leasing Deals are Inked

18 Jun 2014, 6:37 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Bay Area’s office market has been one of the highlights of the national real estate market in recent years, and due to the lasting appeal with the tech industry, the trend seems to be going strong. Three large leases were recently inked in San Francisco and San Jose, the largest urban centers in the tech-oriented region.

NerdWallet, Spansion and Loring Ward are set to move to new digs in the coming months, all three firms deciding to expand operations and take up more commercial office space. NerdWallet, a growing startup that has to do with advising consumers to make smart financial decisions, is now in contract for the fifth and sixth floors of the office building located at 901 Market St. The young company will occupy 45,700 square feet of space for the next seven years, as per its agreement with landlord Hudson Pacific Properties, rentv.com writes.

Meanwhile, North San Jose saw a company complete a leasing deal for 154,600 square feet of space. Spansion inked an agreement for space at the Ridder Park Technology Center. The new tenant recently sold is sprawling 470,000-square-foot HQ in Sunnyvale and is now relocating to two buildings part of the office campus. The company’s landlord at its new facilities will be Hines. The owner was represented by CBRE and Cassidy Turley teams in the leasing deal.

Loring Ward is the third company to ink a move in the area, reportedly the largest office lease in downtown San Jose, Loring will move into 42,600 square feet of space at Ten Almaden, a substantial expansion from the company’s current residence in west San Jose, where it occupies around 25,000 square feet. The owner of Ten Almaden is Equity Office Properties, an owner that has seen its asset be boosted to 90 percent occupancy by this recent deal according to rentv.com.  

Image 1: 901 Market St., San Francisco, courtesy of 901market.com

Image 2: Ten Almaden, courtesy of eoptenalmaden.com



Del Monte Warehouse in Alameda Set to Become New Mixed-Use Project by Tim Lewis Communities

12 Jun 2014, 3:40 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Redevelopment is always a hot topic, especially when landmarks are involved. Tim Lewis Communities is reportedly set to breathe new life into an Alameda staple and turn it into a mixed-use community. Located along the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, the waterfront property in question is a former Del Monte warehouse that will be turned into a new community.

The project is currently subject to local approvals, with confirmation of the project’s concretization set to come in the following months, and construction start tentatively set for mid-2015.

The development plan that Tim Lewis Communities came up with for the site calls for a complete revamp of the warehouse totaling around 235,792 square feet of space. The building, consisting of brick and timber and featuring nearly a century of history, will be transformed into a mixed-use property totaling 309 residential units and around 19,000 square feet of retail, as well as newly constructed space on the nearby vacant plots of land, The San Francisco Business Times reports.

Originally developed for the California Packing Corp. in 1927, the warehouse property stretches 1,000 feet long and 240 feet wide, and is one of the 30 designated landmarks in the city of Alameda, Contra Costa Times writes. The site has been under the ownership of Tim Lewis Communities for almost a year now, when the developer picked up the property from bankrupt owner, Peter Wang. The idea of revitalizing the warehouse site has been in the conversation for around a decade.

The adjacent land that will be involved in the development project will house 55 residential units and 20,000 square feet of additional retail space. Of the total amount of housing available at the Del Monte site, 10 will be designated as live/work units, with unit sizes ranging between 1,150 and 1,766 square feet.

Cypress Set to Break Ground in September on Gensler-Designed Market Street Place

5 Jun 2014, 1:08 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Redevelopment is sometimes the best chance a forgotten city block has at resurgence. That’s exactly what Cypress Equities has planned for its Mid-Market San Francisco project, located on Market Street between 5th and 6th. Cypress recently announced that it has decided that it will hold an official ground breaking for the $150-million development project this September.

Market Street Place, as it will be known, is a 250,000-square-foot retail project that, when completed, will also offer 167 underground parking spaces. Although no leasing deals have been announced for the project, which is due to complete in the fall of 2016, the developer is betting that the multi-level retail center will refresh and breathe new life to a site that has been occupied by an abandoned lot in the Mid-Market area, part of a general revival that the area has seen recently. According to a press statement issued by Cypress, Market Street Place will offer around 270 feet of frontage, 15 to 18-foot high ceilings, and floor plates that offer up as much as 40,000 square feet of retail space.

According to Cypress CEO, Chris Maguire, the company is “pleased to have the opportunity to develop this iconic, flagship retail destination, that will attract more shoppers , and enhance the Mid-Market Street corridor.” 

Architecture firm Gensler provided the designs for the modernistic building that will feature an exterior façade combining layers of clear and translucent glass with mirror patterning that capture frames of the nearby streetscape, while also allowing small glimpses of the facility’s interior. SRS Real Estate Partners has been tasked by Cypress Equities to handle retail leasing for Market Street Place. The new tenants will be announced as the development process goes on, a press statement shows.

Image courtesy of gensler.com

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Expands in San Francisco with the $49 Million Purchase of The Prescott Hotel

28 May 2014, 10:26 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor 

As the Californian hospitality market continues on its upswing, a brand new hotel deal was perfected this week. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust recently purchased the Prescott Hotel in San Francisco for a total fee of $49 million. The new owner has also announced that the hotel will continue to be managed by operator Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

The 160-key Prescott Hotel is an upper upscale, full-service venue is located in the immediate vicinity of San Francisco’s Union Square, on Post Street. The property is also located in the proximity of the Moscone Convention Center, the Westfield San Francisco Centre urban shopping mall, as well as the world famous Powell & Market cable car turntable. Consisting of two separate buildings, located at 545 Post Street and 555 Post Street, the hotel had a great past year, operating at approximately 88 percent occupancy and an average daily rate of $206 and room revenue per available room of $181.

555 Post was finished in 1922 for the Union League Club while 545 opened in 1913 as the Cecil Hotel. The two buildings became the home of the Prescott Hotel after a renovation process in 1989. The hotel’s guest amenity package includes features such as high-speed internet access, fully stocked honor bars, 37-inch LG flat screen TVs, luxury bath packages as well as Kimpton’s leopard-print bathrobes. The Prescott also includes 600 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and valet parking service.

New owner is planning a comprehensive renovation and repositioning of the hotel, set to begin sometime during the following year. Dawson Design Associates will handle the designs, a result of the owner’s fruitful partnership with the company on Hotel Zetta and Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, who has managed the hotel since its 1989 opening, is in charge of eight other hotels owned by Pebblebrook.

DoubleTree by Hilton Newark-Fremont Opens as Area between Oakland and Silicon Valley Continues to Grow

21 May 2014, 10:31 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Over the past couple of weeks, the city of Newark, Calif. has been making waves with the amount of real estate activity it has going for it. After the recently-announced expansion of one of the city’s largest shopping spots, now news of a new DoubleTree by Hilton has surfaced. Hilton Worldwide and Double Tree by Hilton are officially opening the new DoubleTree by Hilton Newark-Fremont in the area between Oakland, Calif.  and San Jose, Calif.

The new full-service hotel offers a total of 315 rooms and is located in an extremely good point in terms of air travel. The hotel is located 13 miles away from the Mineta San Jose International Airport, 21 miles from Metropolitan Oakland International Airport and 36 miles from San Francisco International Airport. The facility is under the ownership of the SM Broadway Corporation, with management duties handled by Hotel Managers Group.

Guests will have access to a great amenity package that includes a 24-hour business center, fully-equipped 24-hour fitness facility, an outdoor pool, whirlpool spa and a spacious sundeck. Dining options at DoubleTree by Hilton Newark-Fremont will be available at Ginger Bar & Grill, a restaurant serves fusion recipes bearing heavy Mediterranean influences. The restaurant also has a happy hour policy, and focuses on providing entertainment options such as live jazz gigs.

The hotel also focuses on providing a spacious experience, with its contemporary design features and modern amenities including 5,000-square-foot premier ballroom, 15 different meeting rooms, as well as a luxurious Hospitality Suite. These common areas total 14,600 square feet of space made available for events such as meetings and wedding receptions. The guest experience begins with a free chocolate chip cookie at check-in, continues with a selection of teas and coffees provided by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, CITRON body care products from Crabtree & Evelyn, and the brand’s CARE idea, which stands for Create a Rewarding Experience. In-room HDTVs, patios, pool views and the DoubleTree by Hilton SweetDreams bed complete the guest package.

Image courtesy of doubletree3.hilton.com

Rouse Properties Announces New Leases, Changes to NewPark Mall in Newark

14 May 2014, 3:47 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A Newmark retail property is set to be repositioned after owner Rouse Properties announces a number of newly-completed leases and changes to one of its assets. The owning entity is set to revive the NewPark Mall in Newark, Calif. by unveiling a number of new tenants and features into one of the focal points of the area in terms of entertainment, shopping and dining.

NewPark Mall is a 1.1 million square-foot property that currently holds around 150 retailers such as Macy’s, Coach, The Body Shop, Forever 21, Disney Store and Victoria’s Secret. However, Rouse Properties recently completed new leases for around 140,000 square feet of space from both dining and entertainment sectors. The standout new addition to the tenant roster will be a new 12-screen AMC Theatres location that will include not only the AMC Prime auditoriums but an IMAX screen as well. The theater will occupy 55,000 square feet of space, and will offer patrons stadium seating with power recliners and will serve a host of food and drink choices.

The new promenade will also include new names such as Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and John’s Incredible Pizza. The three new fixtures on the NewPark Mall tenant roster will be accessible through both interior and separate outdoor entrances. The new entrances are part of the improvements brought by the owner to this section of the mall. These, along with new signage and tenants’ trade dress, are set to enhance visibility of the property from the nearby I-880 freeway.

Also part of the redevelopment process at the mall is the new Restaurant Pavilion, an initiative that’s set to reconfigure the southern end of the property with a glass-enclosed exterior facing restaurant spaces. Included in this phase of refurbishment is the expansion of the main entrance and gathering area, as well as the introduction of a brand new glass entrance, meant to provide site lines to the entertainment venues located on the opposite end of the mall.

The owner’s initiative to reposition the property and enhance the entertainment and dining components has the full backing of local authorities, with Newark Mayor, Alan Nagy, expressing support in regards to the redevelopment project. Nagy noted the local government’s excitement to “create a thriving retail center that will yield great benefits for the City of Newark and better serve the shopping, dining and entertainment needs of the local community.”

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