As Rents Rise, Advocates in Multiple Markets Push for New Rent Control Laws

In most parts of the U.S., lawmakers are currently not allowed to create new rules to limit by how much landlords can raise rents at their properties.

In November 2018, voting ballots in California might include a question on rent control. Right now, California law restricts the spread of rent regulations on housing built after 1995, in addition to many older properties.

Some housing advocates want to change that. A proposed law that would have allowed more rent regulation died in the state legislature in 2017. Now advocates including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the San Francisco Tenants Union are pressing the same proposal as a ballot initiative.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Developers in contract to buy Oakland tower site

Two developers are in contract to buy a tower site next to Oakland’s 19th Street BART station, potentially kickstarting construction.

Danville-based Behring Cos. has an option to buy the land at 1900 Broadway, according to an agreement filed in November. The deal hasn’t closed.

John Herr, executive vice president at Lincoln Property Co., said at a Bisnow event on Wednesday that the company is partnering with Behring on the project. It would be Lincon’s first project in Oakland, and the company would join a wave of new developers that are fueling the city’s biggest development boom in decades.

Read more from San Francisco Business Times

What Do Single-Tenant Net Lease Deals Offer High-Net-Worth Investors?

HNW investors are especially attracted to single-tenant net lease deals in the retail sector.

For more and more high-net-worth (HNW) real estate investors, dollar stores and drugstores make for a winning combination, although these assets can turn into losers if the sole tenant leaves.

Office and hotels still draw a lot of attention—and dollars—from HNW investors. But a rising number of them are betting on single-tenant net lease properties such as dollar stores, drugstores and fast-food restaurants to help round out their portfolios.

By and large, net lease properties are magnets for HNW investors because they’re viewed as safe, recession-proof assets that preserve cash flow and yield.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Downtown Corporate Campuses are Expanding into the Suburbs

One of the most important development trends in recent years has been the push to redevelop, reenergize and revitalize downtown districts in cities and towns across the country. Aligned with a demographic wave (led by millennials, empty nesters and active seniors) displaying a renewed appreciation for and attraction to the live/work/play dynamism that dense, mixed-use urban centers can provide, developers have become more aggressive and more adept at transforming underutilized urban neighborhoods in vital and energized centers of commercial and social activity.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Here are the Bay Area’s 10 biggest building sales of 2017

San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area saw another banner year for building sales in 2017. Giant foreign investors, pension funds and private equity firms bought towers in the heart of downtown San Francisco and more suburban areas for record prices.

The big deals weren’t just limited to tech offices and Oakland’s investment market remains hot.

Read more from San Francisco Business Times

Alameda County Planning To Sell Its Stake In Oakland Coliseum To Oakland

Alameda County wants out of its share of the Oakland Coliseum.

With three sports teams potentially leaving the site in the next few years, Oakland and the county are in talks for the city to buy out the county’s stake, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Full control of the site would make it easier for Oakland to redevelop the site.

The city and county still have bonds worth $200M to pay off that were used to finance the expansion of the stadium for the Oakland Raiders and renovate Oracle Arena. Those bonds could complicate negotiations. The county could pay off its portion of the debt, but there is no indication as to how the debt is structured and whether it can be paid off early.

Read more from Bisnow

What’s Up With Retail?

Rent, online shopping, regulations, and a higher minimum wage reduce the brick-and-mortar presence.

Omar Mughannam of Beauty Center faced a 30 percent rent increase at one location.

For local retailers, whose inventory costs are high and whose profits depend on foot traffic and fickle consumer demand, even small increases in rent can be difficult to bear. And when rent increases hit double digit percentages, owners are often forced to relocate to a more affordable space, consolidate multiple outlets, or close altogether.

Empty stores are everywhere, in Rockridge where Itsy Bitsy, Cotton Basics, Rockridge Home, and See Jane Run once seemed to thrive; in Elmwood where the corner of College and Ashby looks sparse without Jeremy’s, and in Montclair Village, too, where the local bike shop and Daisy’s are no more.

Silicon Valley’s largest commercial real estate leases of 2017 (so far)

So far, 2017 hasn’t been a feverish year for commercial real estate leasing, especially compared to busy 2015 and 2016, but analysts agree that it has been a good, stable year with plenty of important moves.

Among them are WeWork’s largest ever lease that just happens to be in a brand-new development in Mountain View. Meanwhile, Menlo Park-based social media giant Facebook is rapidly growing, inking multiple massive new leases in the area, and Amazon continued to spread its reach throughout the Valley with a renewed focus on the South Bay.

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Times

California’s Cannabis Conundrum: Legalization Will Lead To Fewer Dispensaries, Not More

With legalization of recreational marijuana just around the corner in California, the state is about to embark on what could be a $5B industry and a boon for tax revenue. But state regulations have created high barriers to entry and many cities and counties have banned cannabis outright.

Legalization in California will not translate to an immediate influx of cannabis dispensaries. In fact, many dispensaries now in business will no longer be able to continue operations past Jan. 1. States like Colorado created a more open market with fewer regulations when it legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, leading to an explosion of cannabis businesses. California requires dispensaries to be at least 600 feet from schools, to close at 10 p.m. and to have 24-hour surveillance, among other regulations. Jurisdictions also have the right to be more restrictive.

Read more from Bisnow

Oakland Approves Tenant Relocation Assistance for Owner Move-Ins and Condo Conversions

The Oakland City Council last night approved new financial assistance for renters displaced by certain types of no-fault evictions.

Under the new rules, if a tenant is evicted by a landlord who is moving into the rental unit, or whose immediate family member is moving in, the landlord must pay the tenant an amount between $6,500 and $9,875, depending on the size of the rental unit. Similarly, if a landlord evicts a tenant in order to convert the apartment into a condominium, the payments also have to be made.

Read more from East Bay Express