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Northwestern Mutual Provides Mortgage Loan Worth $140 Million for Levi’s Plaza

7 Mar 2014, 7:05 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The global headquarters of world-famous clothing brand Levi Strauss & Company was recently involved in a financing deal worth $140 million. The mortgage loan was provided by Northwestern Mutual, a real estate investment firm that deals with commercial mortgages, equities and securitized investments comprising all property types. The loan was taken on behalf of a group of investors that includes Gerson Bakar, Diane B. Wilsey and Interland.

Levi Plaza, the office complex currently known for housing the global HQ of the clothing company, includes a number of facilities including the The Saddleman Building located at 1355 Sansome Street, which totals 64,000 square feet,  The Stern Building at 1265 Battery Street,  The Koshland Building, which is the current home of the Mindjet Corporation, and  The Koshland Building East located at 1160 Battery Street.

A number of other facilities comprise the sprawling campus. The asset was developed and completed by Interland, one of the current owners, in the 1980s for Levi Strauss, and was considered as the only major property of its kind in the city for a long stretch during that time. Levi Plaza is located on a nine-acre plot of land in San Francisco’s North Waterfront neighborhood.

According to Brandon Buza, a director with Northwestern Mutual’s wholly owned subsidiary, Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments LLC, “the property is well leased and situated between the Bay and Telegraph Hill”. He also noted that given the property’s placement, in the vicinity of San Francisco’s Financial District, “far enough to offer tenants a different, relaxed feel”.

Northwestern Mutual currently has a general account investment portfolio worth $184 billion, which provides for the company’s insurance and annuity products.


San Mateo County Office Campus Sold by Harvest Properties and Invesco Real Estate with Peninsula Developing as Tech Market

26 Feb 2014, 4:31 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

 A Chicago-based real estate company has recently made its first move in the San Mateo County office market. Heitman, a global management firm, recently completed the purchase of an office complex in Foster City, Calif. from partnership between Harvest Properties and Invesco Real Estate. The transaction brings further proof that the San Francisco Peninsula is generating interest in the tech market, ranking in the top three markets for tech companies in the entire U.S.

The class A office complex known in the area as Parkside Towers, includes two inter-connected, mixed-use eight-story structures that offer a massive amount of office space, as well as ground floor retail. The two buildings also offer ground floor retail space standing on top of three levels of parking. The total leasable area of the complex located at 1001, 1031 and 1051 East Hillsdale Blvd. stands at 399,590 square feet. The building is currently occupied by a number of high-quality credit tenants. The seller acquired the property back in 2008 and has since focused its efforts on improving Parkside Towers’ occupancy rate. The new owners have since completed the resigning of Guidewire as a major tenant, for 97,674 square feet of space. At the time of the sale, the complex was fully leased, its 100 percent occupancy rate being a major selling point.

Tenant features at Parkside Towers include state-of-the-art building systems, striking lobbies, exceptional onsite amenities and above-average parking on the premises. Harvest Properties acted as the property manager for the asset, and will continue to handle management duties at the site. The transaction was handled by Eastdil Secured Leasing brokers Jeff Weber and Stephen Van Dusen, as well as Josh Rowell and Craig Kalinowski with Cornish & Carey.

IHG Offloads InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco in $120 Million Transaction

26 Feb 2014, 3:59 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The California hospitality market recently saw a major boost when the first hotel facility to be developed in the city’s core in a number of years was announced. Now, a major acquisition deal was completed for one of the most high-profile hotels in the city of San Francisco. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC has completed the sale of its flagship property in the Bay Area, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco. The buyer is a joint venture created by affiliates of Woodridge Capital Partners and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP. The purchase fee for the hotel property stood at $120 million in gross cash proceeds.

InterContinental San Francisco will remain under the management of IHG under a long-term contract with the new owners. The facility was completed in 1926 and entered the InterContinental brand after 47 years. Now-seller IHG acquired the lessee interest 10 years after it started managing the property, and in 2010, acquired the freehold. The sale is a sign of the company’s decision to sell three of its hotels over the past year, in a bid to reduce the capital intensity of its operations. IHG has already completed the sale of its InterContinental London Park Lane back in May 2013, a press statement shows, while the offloading of another major asset, namely the Continental New York Barclay, is almost completed.

The buying joint venture will invest a further $20 million in improving the facility, in an attempt to reposition the property. According to a press statement announcing the transaction, in 2013, the hotel generated $42 million in revenue, and, at the end of 2013, the net book value of the facility stood at $90 million.

Image courtesy of intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com 


Dropbox Inks Agreement for the Entire Space at Under-Construction Kilroy Facility in SOMA

12 Feb 2014, 7:20 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As San Francisco’s office market is continuing to escalate, and the city’s image is booming, being recently named as the most dynamic city in the world, further proof of the area’s tech appeal was recently revealed. The office facility that Kilroy Realty Corporation has been developing in the SOMA district for the past few months is already fully leased as the company has announced the completion of a complete leasing agreement with growing tech company Dropbox.

The cloud storage and data-syncing market leader has inked a deal for 12 years at the under-construction facility. The deal was brokered by a CBRE team led by Tim Kazul, Luke Ogelsby and Laurence Morgan on behalf of Dropbox, and a separate team including Phil Tippett, Cori English and Sherman Chan representing Kilroy.

The office asset being developed at 333 Brannan Street in South of Market will be a six-story building offering a total of 180,000 square feet of space. The property was designed by William McDonough + Partners and will feature modern fixtures such as large, efficient, open floor plates, abundant natural light, 100 percent outside air capability, and a large roof-top garden and a roof deck. The state-of-the art facility is seeking LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, thus making it the second San Francisco asset to be developed by KRC to pursue the honor, the first being the 350 Mission Street office tower leased by Salesforce.

Green-minded fixtures at the property will include on-site power generation, a rainwater reclamation system expected to reduce energy usage by approximately 26 percent and water usage by 45 percent when compared to a similar building in terms of size.

Image courtesy of kilroyrealty.com

Transit-Oriented Mixed-Use Project in Palo Alto Secures Financing from Canyon Realty

24 Jan 2014, 8:51 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A transit-oriented development project is now underway after financing provider Canyon Capital Realty Advisors secured a loan on behalf of the developers. College Terrace Centre LLC is set to begin work on its project, a mixed-use development located near Stanford University and Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto. Handling development duties for the project will be developed by Redwood City-based, Twenty-One Hundred Ventures LLC.

College Terrace Centre will be built on a 1.4-acre site on El Camino Real, and will total around 66,000 square feet of space. The development will offer a neighborhood grocery store, an open-air market, shops, office space and a freestanding residential building that will offer potential residents eight residential units. The property will also offer on-site parking. Set to be developed between this spring and August 2015, College Terrace Centre will be gunning for LEED certification.

According to a recently issued press statement, the transit-oriented mixed-use development will divide its space as follows: 7,000 square feet of retail space, 45,000 square feet of office space, 9,000 square feet of grocery space, 218 subgrade parking spaces and eight below market rate apartments. The development will offer 300 feet of El Camino Real frontage, in an area frequented by approximately 52,000 cars per day. The proximity of Stanford University and Stanford Research Park will also ensure constant exposure to a highly-educated, young demographic.

In terms of jobs, the development’s Palo Alto location offers proximity to major employers such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Cisco, Yahoo!, Hewlett Packard, Tesla Motors, as well as venture capital and law firms. Palo Alto is at the heart of Silicon Valley, the most prominent tech market in the entire county.

Rendering courtesy of www.collegeterracecentre.com

Invesco Buys 388 KSF San Francisco Office Tower from Hines

15 Jan 2014, 7:49 pm

By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

SAN FRANInvesco Real Estate has purchased the 24-story, 388,370-square-foot Class A office tower at 101 Second St. in San Francisco’s SoMa district from Hines, the latter’s San Francisco office announced Friday. The closing took place on Jan. 7, a Hines spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The building is 90 percent leased, and its major tenants include law firms Clyde & Co. and Reed Smith and public accounting firm Moss Adams.

Hines was advised by CBRE on this latest transaction. The seller had previously bought the building from Cousins Properties, of Atlanta, in 2004.

“This was the ideal time from a capital markets perspective to monetize the value created for our investors,” Ken Jett, managing director in Hines’ Core Fund, told CPE.

“The South Financial District has improved significantly over the past 10 years, and I expect that it will continue to improve for the new owners of the building,” George Clever, senior managing director in Hines’ West Region, said in a release.

“101 Second St. is a strong addition to our national portfolio. The property’s location, quality and leasing status are an ideal fit with our long-term investment approach,” Bill Grubbs, managing director of Invesco Real Estate, also said in the release.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the building was completed in 2000. Its design features a highly articulated steel frame, a façade of Spanish limestone and light-green glass, and a four-story aluminum-and-glass art pavilion. 101 Second St. achieved LEED Gold certification in 2009.

“After a frenzied investment climate during the past couple of years, the market is entering a period with a balanced number of buyers and sellers,” according to a Thirs Quarter San Francisco market overview from Marcus & Millichap.

“Owners who purchased during the downturn are profit-taking after a significant gain in the value of their assets, while others are divesting to reallocate capital into markets with more potential upside,” the report continues. “Plenty of investors are present to purchase assets, though value-add plays will dominate buyer motivation in the coming year.”


San Jose’s Santana Row Completes Agreement With Car Charging Group for New EV Charging Stations

13 Jan 2014, 8:14 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The San Francisco Bay ended 2013 on an extremely high note for the local office market, offering great prospects for the area’s real estate market in 2014. To open the year, big green energy news emerged as Car Charging Group, Inc. announced a newly sealed agreement with Federal Realty Investment Trust to expand the availability of EV charging services at Santana Row. Car Charging Group operates at a national level and offers electric vehicle charging services to a wide variety of facilities.

The company is now set to expand the number of available electric car charging stations at the retail center in San Jose, the heart of the fast growing tech market of Silicon Valley. Santana Row is a 647,000-square foot mixed-use development project, one of the prime destinations for shopping and dining. The venue features 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and a movie theatre. The mixed-use community of Santana Row also offers 615 luxury rental homes, and 65,000 square feet of Class A office space.

According to a recently issued press release, Car Charging Group will answer a growing demand for charging stations at Santana Row, and will continue to follow data it has been tracking since the initial stations installed at the project. Tracking its initial stations, Car Charging was able to determine that additional facilities would be in order at Santana Row. The new stations are located across from the first charging docks, on Level 1A of the Winchester parking garage.

The new chargers are provided by Level II EV charging stations, providing cars with 240 volts with 32 amps of power, that efficiently replenish an electric vehicle’s battery. Car Charging Group Inc. is based in Miami, and also operates out of offices in San Francisco, New York and Phoenix. The company is pushing for the wider adoption of public EV charging.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel Mountain View – S Palo Alto Opens Following $1M Renovation Project

6 Jan 2014, 7:38 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

InterContinentalHotels Group has recently added a new hotel to its portfolio in the Mountain View and Palo Alto areas. The Holiday Inn Express Mountain View – S Palo Alto opened at the end of the year after a more than $1 million renovation project.

The hotel is designed with the Holiday Inn brand family’s $1 billion global brand relaunch in mind, the largest project of its kind in hospitality history. It is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, near U.S. Route 101, Interstate 280 and State Routes 85 and 237. Important attractions and businesses, restaurants, shops and cocktail lounges are just minutes away.

“We are very excited to join the Holiday Inn brand family,” says Roshan Patel, general manager. “Our hotel is in close proximity to the many technology companies in the Mountain View and Palo Alto areas and very convenient for business travelers to the area.”

The Holiday Inn Express Mountain View S Palo Alto is a three-story, 46-room hotel. All rooms feature refrigerators, microwave ovens, flat screen TVs, as well as comfortable queen or king-sized beds. Hotel amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, swimming pool, free internet access, business center and more. The Holiday Inn Express Mountain View – S Palo Alto is owned and managed by RPK Investment.

“Holiday Inn Express hotels are designed to be the smart choice for value-conscious business and leisure travelers,” says Heather Balsley, SVP, Americas Holiday Inn® brand family. “With more than 2,200 properties worldwide and 450 more in the pipeline, the Holiday Inn Express portfolio continues to provide our guests with an enhanced-stay experience at a great value.”

Photo credits: InterContinental Hotels Group


New Partnership between LaSalle Investment Management and Harvest Properties Completes First Purchase as Silicon Valley Tech Buzz Continues

28 Dec 2013, 12:19 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Fueled by the numerous investment opportunities that are currently available in the booming tech market of Silicon Valley, commercial real estate company Harvest Properties has moved on the market for one of the most high-profile office assets in San Jose. The full service investment and development firm recently announced the purchase of 60 South Market St. for a fee that was not released to the public. This is the company’s first acquisition as part of the newly formed partnership that Harvest has created with LaSalle Investment Management.

The asset is located in San Jose, the largest city in the area known as Silicon Valley, at 60 South Market St, in the improving downtown area. The 14-story, Class A office building offers tenants 232,536 square feet of office space. According to a recently issued press statement, the building’s common areas recently underwent an extensive renovation process and the amenity package includes a fitness facility, a conference room and outdoor balconies. Placement-wise, the building offers great proximity to transportation, with both Highway 87 and Interstate 280 nearby, as well as the Caltrain line, the VTA light rail, and the San Pedro Market.

As a result of the acquisition, Harvest Properties will take over property management duties for 60 South Market St. A team of representatives from real estate brokerage Eastdil Secured was involved in completing the deal for the office tower. A CBRE team will be in charge of the listings on behalf of the new owner.

Image courtesy of cbre.com

MetLife Announces Stake in Joint Venture that Will Develop 42-Story Residential Tower in Rincon Hill

20 Dec 2013, 10:23 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As the San Francisco Bay Area’s office market took off just before the end of the year, a major boost was also given to the area’s luxury residential market. MetLife, the provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefits, has announced its commitment in the development of a brand new multifamily high-rise building that would set the bar for luxury apartment units in San Francisco.

The insurance giant has teamed up in a joint venture with development company UDR, Inc. for an investment in the area’s multifamily sector worth over $300 million. According to a recently released press statement, MetLife will own a stake of 49 percent with UDR holding the majority share.

The JV is set to start work on a 42-story residential tower on a development site located at 399 Fremont Street in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. According to data from MetLife, the total investment will have a value of $317 million and has a construction deadline set for 2016. The high-rise will offer a total of 447 residential units, all of which will be made available at market rate. According to Global Head of Real Estate for MetLife, Robert Merck, the company has “a successful relationship with UDR, and this significant deal in the Bay Area further cements our partnership.”

Set to increase the available stock of high-end residential units, the building will offer residents a generous amenity package. A sky lounge with an observation deck will be part of the package, while a pool, a fitness center, pet care center and a retail component of 3,500 square feet, will also be included. The area features a number of nightlife spots, dining venues as well as the city’s bustling financial district. Transportation will be ensured via nearby BART stations and the in-development Transbay Transit Center.

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