What Google’s San Jose project means for downtown

For years, much of the area around Diridon Station has been a neglected jumble of grimy auto body shops, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and shabby warehouses.

Google — whose plans face a critical City Council vote Tuesday — is expected to transform some 50 acres into a mix of offices, shops and restaurants connected by pathways that wind through parks and plazas filled with public art. Steps away, Diridon is set to undergo its own renovation and become the only place in the Bay Area where BART, Caltrain, Amtrak and high-speed rail converge.

It’s a tall order. But if the tech giant succeeds, the project could transform a downtown that has struggled to rebound from sprawling development in the 1950s and 1960s, when city manager Dutch Hamann rapidly annexed land at the city’s fringes while neglecting its urban core. When it’s complete, the area could support more than 25,000 workers, a 65 percent increase in the number employed in the core of the city today.

For longtime restaurateur and downtown business owner Steve Borkenhagen, Google’s foray into San Jose might finally spark the kind of urban rejuvenation he’s dreamed of for decades. For Kathy Sutherland, a nearly 40-year resident of the Delmas Park neighborhood in the shadow of the proposed development, the project brings both the long-sought possibility of a vibrant neighborhood and the fear of displacement. And for the urban studies theorist Richard Florida, the project is less personal but no less important — a chance for a major American city to finally get redevelopment right, to provide an antidote to the debacle of the Amazon HQ2 rollout.

It will be years before any such dreams or fears are fully realized, but the sale of more than $100 million dollars of city land — expected to be finalized at the Tuesday council meeting — sets the stage for planning and development to begin in earnest after months of closed-door talks and speculation about the biggest thing to happen in San Jose in generations.

 

 

Read more on the East Bay Times

 

 

Billion-dollar deal: Google pays $1 billion for huge Mountain View business park

In a head-spinning mega-deal, Google has paid $1 billion for a huge Mountain View business park, the Bay Area’s largest real estate purchase this year.

It is also the second-largest property purchase in the United States this year, eclipsed only by another Google acquisition, the $2.4 billion the company paid for Chelsea Market in Manhattan.

The newly acquired site in Mountain View, where Google has been the primary tenant, is larger than the property that accommodates the company’s Googleplex headquarters a few blocks to the west, and also exceeds the size of the parcel across the street where Google is building an iconic “dome” campus that features canopies and tents.

“Wow. What a deal,” said Chad Leiker, a first vice president with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm. “This is an opportunity for Google to own more office space very close to their headquarters. That office space is becoming very rare in Mountain View.”

Google’s Mountain View purchase means that in the two years since the search giant began to collect properties in downtown San Jose for a proposed transit village, the company has spent at least $2.83 billion in property acquisitions in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, downtown San Jose and north San Jose alone.

 

 

Read more on The Mercury News

 

 

Getting downtown ‘right’ in San Jose has been a trial-and-error process

The plan for San Jose’s downtown is years old. What’s new is that Google has bought into that vision.

The critical challenge of getting things right in the next iteration of downtown San Jose has been a hot issue at least since the 1980s, when downtown was torn up and many businesses suffered and died during construction of the Valley Transportation Authority’s light rail system.

Downtown’s future was a central focus of the thousands of people who participated in the four years of work that in 2011 produced the city’s latest general plan, Envision San Jose 2040, that anticipated Diridon’s status as a transit hub amidst 40,000 new jobs.

“This is not a novel idea we just came upon because Google came around last year,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

Kim Walesh, San Jose’s deputy city manager and economic development director, said the plan always envisioned “having an anchor developer who would do a cohesive master planned development in that central area.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that latest round of planning efforts and community engagement sparked by Google’s development announcement last year has pleased everyone who will be affected by what happens around Diridon.

 

 

Read more on Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

 

 

Tech tenants continue to compete for limited Silicon Valley office space

The Silicon Valley office market continues to perform well, with tech tenants quickly grabbing up space, particularly larger blocks that are hard to come by in the tight market.

The recent 274K SF lease by Roku at Coleman Highline reflects the strength of the San Jose market. Google’s plans for an 8M SF campus in San Jose have driven a lot of activity in that city’s downtown.

But even beyond a bustling San Jose, the greater Silicon Valley office market has had strong fundamentals for the first half of the year, according to Savills Studley.

In Q2, there was more than 2.6M SF of office leased in Silicon Valley, adding up to 5.8M SF leased in the past 12 months, Savills Studley reports. Availability in the core markets of Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale/Cupertino remains in the single digits, while the region’s overall availability has decreased to 15.8%, down 130 basis points from a year ago.

At the same time, rents are rising, reaching $50.94 overall asking rent for the region in Q2, up 4%. Class-A rents were up 1.7% to $52.51. Tech tenants continue to drive the market.

 

Read more on Bisnow Silicon Valley

 

 

 

Another 500 apartments on tap amid tiny East Bay city’s housing boom

Emeryville’s former Sherwin-Williams paint factory could begin its transformation into 500 new apartments early next year. 

After a five-year development process, the city approved Lennar Multifamily Communities project in February.

Lennar is expected to file for building permits early next year, said Charles Bryant, Emeryville’s planning and building director. The first homes could be completed by the end of 2021. Lennar didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Despite its tiny 1.28-square-mile size, Emeryville is seeing a number of large multifamily projects as industrial sites give way to mixed-use development. Sherwin-Williams would be the largest.

 

Read more on San Francisco Business Times

 

 

Bitcoin won’t encourage cryptocurrency for real estate, but cryptoeconomics will

As Bitcoin enters the mainstream economy, a number of homebuyers and sellers are starting to use the cryptocurrency to conduct real estate transactions.   

Last year, Southeby’s International Realty sold one of the first single-family homes in Austin, Texas using Bitcoin. The Austin home was sold when Bitcoin prices were $3,429 in September 2017.

In addition to these transactions, other residential real estate properties are being listed for Bitcoin. A recent Forbes article describes how Canter Companies, a full-service investment firm specializing in real estate and asset management projects, recently listed two multi-million dollar homes for sale in Bitcoin. The homes are collectively priced at under $20 million in Bitcoin. And recently, a 27 acre piece of land in Silicon Valley has been listed for sale in Bitcoin, Ether and XRP with a starting price of $16 million.

However, while there are a handful of homes currently listed for sale in Bitcoin, some believe that using Bitcoin for real estate transactions will not result in widespread adoption — At least not until the real estate industry starts to utilize blockchain technology, which in turn will drive the adoption of cryptocurrency transactions.

While Bitcoin is stepping into society’s massive adoption as a decentralized cryptocurrency, the next-generation blockchain technology  brings a lot more to the real estate world than just a payment alternative. For example, Propy is based on the Ethereum blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around, while also representing the ownership of property. Ultimately, this enables title deed transfers to take place entirely online. Imagine a world where you can buy or sell your property while sitting on your couch – now this is a reality with blockchain technology, Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy, told me.

According to Karayaneva, the only way to encourage homebuyers and sellers to take advantage of cryptocurrency for real estate transactions is to take a “cryptoeconomics” approach, which goes much further than simply putting homes up for sale in Bitcoin.

Cryptoeconomics lays out the framework for the way in which cryptocurrency ecosystems thrive and function across a decentralized network, known as the blockchain. These ecosystems are able to allow a number of entities who do not know one another to reliably reach consensus across an anonymous, trustworthy network through the use of cryptocurrencies. This is achieved by using a combination of economic incentives and basic cryptographic tools.

 

 

Read more from Forbes

 

 

 

Shivu Srinivasan of NAI Northern California named a Top 10 NAI Global Top Producer

Bay Area multifamily investment property top producer ranks among NAI Global’s top sales leaders internationally

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 15, 2018 – NAI Global, a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm, recently announced that Shivu Srinivasan, Senior Vice President, NAI Northern California was recognized in its annual recognition program as a top producer for the organization. The award honors individuals who are handling the highest volume of multi-market business within NAI. The awards will be presented at the 2018 NAI Global Convention in Austin, Texas this September.

“This award represents outstanding performance within the organization,” said Jay Olshonsky, President, NAI Global. “We are proud of Shivu Srinivasan’s success, and the dedication and commitment to service excellence he has shown. It underscores the power of NAI Global in building business and showcases the deep local roots and professionalism of our professionals.”

Shivu Srinivasan is a Vice President at NAI Northern California, specializing in multifamily investment properties and portfolios in the East Bay market.

In 2016, just his second year in brokerage, Shivu was ranked as NAI Northern California’s number one producing broker. With a total sales volume of $38 million, he was also ranked by CoStar as third in the East Bay market as well as third in number of total transactions at 14.

In 2017, just his third year in brokerage, Shivu was again ranked as NAI Northern California’s number one producing broker. With a total sales volume of ~$90 million, he was the number one producing non-institutional broker in Alameda County. His marquee sales of the year included an 88 unit transaction in Fremont for $26.5 million,  a 70 unit transaction he listed in Hayward for $13.2 million, and a high profile portfolio sale in Oakland’s Lake Merritt district, which included three buildings for $13 million.

“Shivu came to NAI Northern California a few years ago with a talented sales background and quickly transformed that into a successful commercial real estate sales machine within our organization,” remarks James Kilpatrick, President and Founder.

On Shivu’s contributions to propelling NAI Northern California forward, James remarks, “Within his first full year he was already in our top 10 agents and dialed his way to the Top Caller of the Year Award. Now Shivu heads up a powerhouse team of agents who dominate East Bay multifamily real estate sales.”

About NAI Northern California
NAI Northern California is a full service commercial real estate firm serving the Northern California Bay Area. Our team delivers technology-enabled commercial real estate services that create value for our clients, industry, and communities.

NAI Northern California is a partner of NAI Global, the largest commercial real estate brokerage network with more than 400 offices worldwide and over 7,000 professionals completing in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions globally.

About NAI Global
NAI Global is a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm. NAI Global offices are leaders in their local markets and work in unison to provide clients with exceptional solutions to their commercial real estate needs. NAI Global has more than 400 offices strategically located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific, with over 7,000 local market professionals, managing in excess of over 425 million square feet of property.  Annually, NAI Global completes in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions throughout the world.

NAI Global was acquired in 2012 by C-III Capital Partners, a leading commercial real estate services company engaged in a broad range of activities, including primary and special loan servicing, loan origination, fund management, CDO management, principal investment, online capital markets, title services and multifamily property management. C-III’s principal place of business is located in Irving, TX, with additional offices in New York, NY, Greenville, SC and Nashville, TN.

To learn more, visit www.naiglobal.com and www.naiglobalnewslink.com

 

 

Kanye West has a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy to enter commercial real estate

Kanye West declares an interest in commercial real estate development.

Kanye West has stirred up a firestorm of controversy in recent days by coming out as a supporter of President Donald Trump, and making other mystifying statements. But at least one of his public declarations could have a tangible impact on the world of real estate.

Like many in the upper echelons of celebrity, West has made sizable investments in real estate. But in addition to the typical, lavish private estates is a 300-acre plot in the Los Angeles-area city of Calabasas on which he plans to develop “five properties, so it’s my first community,” he told hip-hop media personality Charlamagne in a YouTube interview.

West went on to affirm his interest in real estate development, citing his deep involvement in the construction of his homes as an example and architect Howard Backen of BAR Architects as a chief inspiration. He also laid out his ambitions with his signature bravado.

“I’m going to be one of the biggest real estate developers of all time, like what Howard Hughes is to aircraft and what Henry Ford was to cars,” West told Charlamagne as the two walked his Calabasas plot.

Although West has brought his considerable talent to bear in the music and fashion industries with great success, the arduous process of getting a development permitted and built is more suited for pragmatists than visionaries. His support for Trump caused CityLab’s Brentin Mock to plead with Kanye not to enter the field of development.

“It’s clear that he would be the most technocrat-est of technocrats, if not a dictator — and one who believes that his love for all people is all the evidence that’s needed for people to trust his development vision, which is a personality trait of the worst kind of developer,” Mock wrote.

West certainly would not be the first celebrity to leverage his considerable wealth into commercial real estate — Oprah Winfrey has spent hundreds of millions in this domain, and Rick Ross owns a series of Wingstop franchises per his directive to “buy back the block.” But West’s fellow Trump supporter, Sean Hannity, might be a closer comparable, as he owns multiple apartment complexes.

 

Read more from Bisnow

 

 

Google says it’s close to owning enough downtown San Jose properties for ‘viable’ development

Google is nearing ownership of enough downtown San Jose properties and parcels to create a “viable” transit-oriented development.

The development will take place near the Diridon train station, a top company executive told a key advisory group this week.

During a meeting of the Station Area Advisory Group, formed to gather and process citizen input about Google’s proposal to develop a massive transit village near Diridon Station, Google executives offered the company’s first major presentation of its development philosophies and plans for downtown San Jose. The search giant also indicated that it is creating a critical mass of properties where it could build a transit-oriented community downtown.

“Just to get the sites together by itself is obviously very complicated, and it’s not completed yet, and it’s taking a while,” Mark Golan, Google’s vice president real estate development, told the advisory group during its Monday night meeting. “But we are getting close to having a site that is viable.”

Mountain View-based Google and its development ally Trammell Crow have spent at least $221.6 million buying an array of properties on the western edges of downtown San Jose, within and near a one-mile stretch that begins north of the SAP Center and reaches south nearly to Interstate 280.

Among the major recent deals: The Google and Trammell Crow venture bought a large site that now is occupied by Orchard Supply Hardware, and the search giant has struck a deal to purchase a huge property from Trammell Crow that is approved for 1 million square feet, hundreds of residences and retail.

Despite the extensive work and investments that have occurred already, construction isn’t going to begin tomorrow, Google executives cautioned.

Read more from Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

 

Facebook to move into big WeWork outpost as co-working company prepares to open largest-ever location

Talks between the two giants about WeWork’s new Mountain View location, its largest sublease to-date, have been ongoing for months. But this week the two finally struck a deal.

When WeWork this year opens its first Mountain View offices — its largest-ever lease — half of that space will be filled by Facebook.

Both companies told the Silicon Valley Business Journal about Facebook’s sublease which totals more than 200,000 square feet in one of two new office buildings at The Village at San Antonio Center. The deal comes after months of discussions between the two companies. The second WeWork office building on the site will be open to any company seeking co-working space.

Initially, the talks between the New York-based co-working company and the Menlo Park-based tech giant had been leading toward Facebook taking over both buildings at 391 and 401 San Antonio Road, which would total about 450,000 square feet, the Business Journal reported in February. But Facebook in recent months has rapidly snapped up huge swaths of office space in Silicon Valley — including about 1 million square feet in Sunnyvale — and its needs evolved quickly, two sources with knowledge of the discussions told the Business Journal.

Facebook will set up shop in the eight-story, approximately 225,000-square-foot office building at 401 San Antonio Rd., which is slated to be ready for move-in by early September, according to WeWork.

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal