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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.”

Tower Two at One Rincon Hill Kicks Off Leasing for Upscale Residential Units

7 May 2014, 9:01 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

One of San Francisco’s most high-profile residential projects recently announced that the leasing process for units has commenced. Tower Two at One Rincon Hill, an iconic luxury tower, now has homes ready for lease, with unit occupancy slated to begin this August. According to the official statement announcing the move, private tour appointments are now available via online registration and by calling the development’s Welcome Center.

Tower Two is a 49-story residential high-rise that, when completed, will total 298 upscale residential units. Residence size at the building will range between 613 and 3,200 square feet, with an average size of 1,136 square feet. The current layout of the Rincon Hill neighborhood and the position the building occupies make for great views of the nearby Bay Bridge, Financial District, Twin Peaks and East Bay. Rincon Hill is located at 401 Harrison Street, at the corner of Fremont and Harrison Streets, in the emerging SoMa district of San Francisco, one of the most dynamic parts of the city.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units available at the condo-style apartment building will feature pro-level Bertazzoni, Fisher & Paykel and Bosch kitchen appliances, granite countertops, in-unit Bosch washers and dryers  for all residences, individually controlled air conditioning and heating, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows with operable open-air ventilation.

Resident amenities will include a 49th floor Sky Lounge with a billiard room and private dining area exclusively available to One Rincon Hill residents, an outdoor heated pool and spa, landscaped green spaces with infinity-edge waterfall, reflection pond, fireplace, barbecue and seating areas, two fitness centers, individual unit storage, bike storage, around-the-clock lobby attendant and free WiFi connectivity in all common spaces. The building is pet-friendly and will offers prospective tenants the option of Webpass, Comcast or AT&T internet connectivity. Parking at the facility will be available through a dedicated valet parking service, City CarShare and Zipcar services available onsite and eco-friendly residents will benefit from the presence of electric vehicle charging stations onsite.  

New Home Company Opens Welcome Pavilion for San Jose Master-Planned Housing Community

1 May 2014, 2:58 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The New Home Company recently opened a Welcome Pavilion at its latest master-planned Silicon Valley master-planned residential community. The Orchard Park housing development in San Jose is set to display model homes and hold the initial sale phase at the community located near the intersection of Old Oakland Road and East Brokaw Road in the city’s Berryessa District.

Orchard Park is located just two miles away from the San Jose International Airport, the major air-travel hub in Silicon Valley, and in the vicinity of the upcoming Berryessa BART station. Poised to bring about 239 homes to the market, the community will be divided into three distinct neighborhoods offering three different types of residential units—flats, towns and court homes. Pricing will start at the $700,000 mark, according to the developer’s website.

The new master planned community will take a unique approach with a feng shui master involved the early development stages, consulting on the land plan, ensuring north orientation and other precepts of the art. The Welcome Pavilion has been set up to allow prospective buyers meet the developer’s sales team and allow for interactive presentations of the homes that will be developed at the site.

Orchard Park is set to also feature a 1-acre park and a 2-acre riparian path which will be an extension of the San Jose Coyote Creek Trail. Other amenities at the planned community will include a bocce ball court and a community room with outdoor seating and dining. The project has the full support of local authorities with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed recently thanking developer New Home Company for its investment in the city, which will add a number of construction jobs, as well as increase San Jose’s housing stock.

Image courtesy of thenewhomecompany.com

Following Mission Bay Campus Success Alexandria Real Estate Acquires Prime Development Spot in SoMa

23 Apr 2014, 6:53 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a company that focuses on a dominant market presence in the state-of-the-art, highly collaborative urban science and technology campus, has added yet another property to its portfolio. The company recently acquired the property at 500 Townsend Street in San Francisco for a reported fee of around $50 million. The development site is set to provide the entity with an opportunity to further expand its current assets in the South of Market area.

The 500 Townsend Street development site in the SoMa tech district offers 1.23 acres of land in a prime location for Alexandria’s needs, and is zoned for approximately 300,000 square feet of space. The AAA location is a high-quality substantial development parcel that offers great proximity to public transportation. The site is also close to great access points such as Interstate 80, Interstate 280 and the US 101 Freeway. The developer focuses on providing space for tenants looking for a collaborative, 24/7, live-work environment.

One of the main reasons that prompted Alexandria to acquire the AAA development site was the possibility it offers in terms of expanding its Mission Bay campus. The company’s specialty is its focus on urban science and technology campuses such as its Alexandria Technology Square in Cambridge, Alexandria Center for Life Sciences in New York and the local Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at Mission Bay.

The success of Alexandria’s aforementioned tech campus, with a current occupancy rate of 99.8 percent, and a total of nearly one million square feet, and its recent sale of 1600 Owens Street to Kaiser Permanente at the end of last year is underlining its success in the city. The new development would further expand its assets now that the monetization of the Mission Bay campus is complete, according to a press release.   

Image courtesy of are.com

$15 Million Home Depot Store Sale Arranged by Marcus & Millichap

16 Apr 2014, 5:23 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A San Jose Home Depot Store recently traded hands in a deal worth $15.575 million. The transaction was arranged on behalf of the seller, an institutional investor, by real estate investment services firm Marcus & Millichap. The deal was handled by Mike James, an associate vice president Investments with the company’s Encino, Calif. office.

The San Jose Home Depot is a retail facility totaling 122,265 square feet of space. Located an 11.4-acre site, the property is situated just off California State Route 87 at 635 West Capitol Expressway in Silicon Valley’s main city. Silicon Valley’s current economic boom means that the property is located in a thriving economic area with an ultra-high net worth metropolitan statistical area that has an average annual household income exceeding $123,000.

The property called for a $127 per square foot purchase fee and a 3.77 percent capitalization rate. According to Mike James, the store is a “trophy triple-net-leased asset.”

“[The property] has more than 20 years remaining on the initial lease term and provides significant inflation protection with 10 percent rental increases every five years,” he says.

A press statement announcing the sale noted that 22 different offers were presented to the seller, most of which came through Marcus & Millichap agents on behalf of multifamily investors in 1031 exchanges. The transaction fee is directly linked to the company’s ability to find buyers willing to exchange for retail properties in their search of less management-heavy assets.

Home Depot currently is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer. The company saw 2013 retail sales of $78.8 billion, and an earnings figure of $5.4 billion.

Harvest Properties Completes Office Acquisition in Deal Rumored to Be Worth $100 Million

11 Apr 2014, 9:05 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Harvest Properties, one of the more active companies in the San Francisco Bay Area office market, has reportedly made another large acquisition. The company, along with joint venture partner LaSalle Investment Management, paid a fee rumored to be in the vicinity of $100 million for a two-building office complex in San Mateo, Calif. The joint venture acquired the property from seller Fisher Investments with whom a lease-back deal has already been arranged. Earlier this year, Harvest and Invesco Real Estate sold Parkside Towers, a 400,000-square-foot office complex, to Heitman in a deal worth about $200 million.

The two buildings acquired by Harvest and LaSalle are Century Centre I and II. The assets total 276,000 square feet of Class A office space at the intersection of Highway 101 and Highway 92 in San Mateo. According to The Silicon Valley Business Journal, former owner Fisher Investments has worked out a deal keeping it at the facility. The investment adviser firm will keep occupying the 103,000 square feet of office space it occupies at the complex.

Harvest Properties has already completed leasing deals at the office complex before the acquisition, bringing the occupancy rate at around 93 percent. Three new leases for a total of 56,000 square feet of space, as well as the renewal for 39,000 square feet completed with tenant Apttus, a software company.

Located at 1400 and 1450 Fashion Island Boulevard, the office complex is set to receive a number of upgrades, the most prominent improvement announced by the new owner being a new parking garage. New upgrades such as new bathrooms, elevators, common areas and landscaping will amount to a total of around $6 million in investments that Harvest Properties has lined up for Century Centre I and II.

Large Office Transactions in Silicon Valley Reaffirm Market Appeal

3 Apr 2014, 6:16 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The San Francisco Bay Area’s growing appeal is substantially improving the region’s office sector. The fact that the top three tech markets in the country are all located here, San Francisco, The Peninsula and Silicon Valley, is evocative of investor confidence, and as a result, development and asset acquisitions have ramped up during the past few years.

Recently, a North San Jose office campus traded hands in a deal worth $52.5 million. Buyer PSAI Realty LLC acquired the Montague Oaks Business Park from Eagle Ridge Partners in the deal that was arranged by Cassidy Turley representative Eric Fox, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The property is located at 611-697 River Oaks Parkway and offers great access to the nearby Montague Expressway, Interstate 880, the San Jose International Airport and Highways 101, 237 and 87. The 1983-built campus offers a total of eight single-story office/R&D buildings that Eagle Ridge Partners had acquired from original developer McCandless Properties back in 2011.  The property has gone through a number of renovation processes and currently features a number of tenants that occupy about 93 percent of the available space of the campus.

Another office campus transaction was recently completed when Orange County-based Bixby Land Co. paid a reported $110 million for the Lake Park Business Center in Santa Clara. The 19.3-acre campus was acquired from seller Divco West, making it the buyer’s largest Silicon Valley move to date. According to SVBJ, the new owner will also invest a further $20 million into the repositioning of the sprawling, 400,000-square-foot campus.

The seven two-story buildings that comprise the campus are surrounded by a park-like setting featuring a small lake, outdoor seating areas and fountains. Transportation at Lake Park Business Center is facilitated by the nearby light rail line, easy highway access, as well as airport access.

Image courtesy of divcowest.com

EAH Housing Awarded Contract to Develop New Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Community in Emeryville

28 Mar 2014, 12:06 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A new affordable housing project is set to move forward after the City of Emeryville announced that it had picked the company that would handle an important project for the community. According to a recently released press statement, Emeryville local authorities have selected EAH Housing, the oldest nonprofit housing management and development organization in the Western U.S. EAH then went on to select the architecture firm that will provide the design for the project, and the developer settled on KTGY Group Inc.

Plans right now call for the developer to carry out a project that will provide 86 new affordable residential units at 3706 San Pablo Avenue. The mixed-use, transit-oriented project will also include a ground level commercial component offering a total of 7,000 square feet of space. A solar photovoltaic system will also be a large part of the community that has a construction start date set for the spring of 2016. The five-story mixed-use building will feature floor plans of one- to four-bedroom units that range in size between 670 and 1,400 square feet.

Resident amenities at the facilities include a play center for children, a young adult Zen garden and a common rooftop sky deck overlooking the city. The transit-oriented, mixed-use community will be located about a mile away from the MacArthur BART station, as well as in the immediate proximity of a number of bus lines.

EAH Housing will develop the community according to modern standards with an eco-friendly sensibility, aiming for Build It Green and at least LEED Silver certification. The City is asking for family-oriented unit layouts, open spaces, community benefits, the affordability factor and strong financing plans.  

Hamm’s Building in The Mission District Sold by TMG Partners and Alcion Ventures

24 Mar 2014, 5:29 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As the Bay Area’s office market continues to ignite the interest of investors, yet another signature building in the city recently traded hands in an important deal. TMG Partners announced this week that it had sold The Hamm’s Building along with Alcion Ventures.

The building is located at 1550 Bryant Street in San Francisco’s Mission District and totals 184,706 square feet of office space. The asset was originally built during the first years of the 20th century for the Rainier Brewing Company, and gained the name “Hamm’s” during the 50s and 70s when the building featured a massive neon sign for Hamm’s Beer. The building sat unoccupied for a number of years, until a massive redevelopment project was carried out in 1985, transforming the 12-story brewery into an office building.

The building currently boasts great occupancy, with only five percent of the property being vacant at the time of the transaction. The Hamm’s Building’s tenant roster includes emerging tech companies such as Rdio and Asana, as well as the creation of James Beard Nominee Thomas McNaughton, Salumeria. The restaurateur also owns popular dining spots Flour + Water and Central Kitchen. The building is located near public transportation, with the 16th Street BART station being in close proximity to the building. Also nearby are a number of Muni bus routes. The building is bike friendly and offers tenants a bike garage and showers.  

Back in 2012, TMG and Alcion acquired the property and unveiled a comprehensive renovation process for the building, aiming to reposition the asset’s creative space, in order to cash in on a growing trend in the Californian office market. The $15 million that the owners injected into the building were mainly used for upgrades to the lobbies, restrooms, common areas and new meeting room and roof deck offering 360 degree views in the Mission District.  

Meridian Acquires Half-Occupied Medical Office Property in Rohnert Park, CA

24 Mar 2014, 5:15 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Northern California’s medical office market continues its appeal as full service real estate developer and owner in the medical office segment, Meridian Property Company, recently announced that it had closed escrow on a property in Rohnert Park, Calif. The property offers great opportunity in terms of a new leasing agreement, as a large amount of space was recently vacated at the site. The new owner will look to bring in a new tenant, following a number of improvements that Meridian already has planned for the property. The asset was sold for an undisclosed amount by a partnership between Petaluma, Calif.-based PB&J Acquisitions, and an institutional investor who acquired the property back in 2012.  

Located on a 4.79-acre site at 5900 State Farm Drive, the asset offers tenants a total of 69,000 square feet of medical office space. Kaiser Permanente is the only current tenant at the property, occupying about 50 percent of the available space. The health care provider has occupied the first floor of the property for over a decade, having originally moved in in 2003. The top floor could accommodate a single tenant that requires around 35,000 square feet of space, or up to four different leases, for around 7,500 square feet each, according to the COO of Meridian, John Pollock.

According to a press statement announcing the property acquisition, the area that the medical office property serves is currently well below the national average in terms of doctors per 1000 residences, currently at 2.4, with Rohnert Park only having an average of 1.29 doctors. The area surrounding Rohnert Park totals a population of approximately 342,000, meaning that there is quite the room to grow the region’s number of practices and medical staff.   

The facility offers large plate floors, with assets such as this being the current target of the new owner. Meridian will now look to add value to the property in order to boost its appeal with prospective tenants. Lobby upgrades are already planned, with further improvements set to be made, catering to the tenant that will ink a deal at 5900 State Farm Drive. Meridian Property Company, a division of Marcus & Millichap Company, recently sold one of its medical office properties in Palmdale, Calif. The building was part of its Sierra Pelona Medical Center campus. That property will now be used as the home of a local family practice.

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.


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