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Silicon Valley has the highest housing costs in the U.S.

Report says both incomes and costs soaring in the state’s tech capitol.

It’s the best of time and the worst of times in Silicon Valley, at least according to Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a regional think-tank that issued its annual Silicon Valley Index last week.

The 2019 index, a “comprehensive report based on indicators that measure the strength of our economy and the health of our community,” describes the Valley as materially successful but fundamentally anxious, as new wealth puts additional stress on those most vulnerable.

The report defines Silicon Valley as a broad region encompassing parts of Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda Counties, ranging from Daly City to Union City to Gilroy to Scotts Valley.

The index includes some data from San Francisco for context but does not include the city as part of its larger regional definition. Most of the data covers 2017, with some references to 2018 as well.

 

Read more at Curbed SF 

 

 

Oakland A’s meet opposition over plans for new waterfront ballpark

Plans for a new Oakland A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland have run into opposition that could throw up roadblocks for the project.

Last week, a coalition that includes Save The Bay sent a letter to the state legislature listing concerns from environmental, business and labor organizations about the stadium project.

In the letter, Save The Bay Executive Director David Lewis said East Bay lawmakers are considering introducing a bill that could fast-track the project through regulatory exemptions. That would lessen the project’s accountability to environmental laws designed to protect public health, public lands and vulnerable wildlife.

The coalition said it is opposed to any measures that would reduce San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission oversight for the project, remove State Lands Commission-enacted public trust protections, undercut hazardous materials restrictions or seek a way around California Environmental Quality Act obligations for the project.

The A’s said they had no plans to ask state lawmakers to fast-track the process, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Save The Bay is not the only one arguing against the plans for the stadium.

The bar pilots association said the lights from the stadium will be blinding for those navigating container ships to the port, and those ships could hit kayakers going after stray balls, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents some of the port’s tenants, said the hotel and housing included in the plan would increase traffic and compete with trucks around the port.

Oakland has suffered the loss of sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, who are slated to be in their new Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-2020 season, and the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas and still haven’t settled on where they will play next season before that move.

 

Read more at Bisnow Oakland

 

Exclusive: Developer proposes 25-story hotel in Transbay

A San Diego-based hospitality company wants to build an unusual 25-story hotel in San Francisco’s Transbay District.

J Street Hospitality submitted a preliminary proposal for a 185-room hotel at 36 Tehama St., a skinny parcel of land near Howard and First Streets. Because the site is so small — just 4,000 square feet, according to the San Francisco Planning Department — the potential hotel would rise to 25 stories tall, designed with no guest rooms on the first four floors.

Transbay Terminal and the bustling nearby office towers were the biggest draws to the site, said Jeff Schwartz, executive vice president at J Street. Plus, Tehama is a quieter alley than other surrounding streets.

“Just the amount of business and activity that’s going on, within not even half a square mile, is remarkable,” Schwartz said.

The vacant lot is sandwiched between coding bootcamp Galvanize on one side and a parking garage on the other. The project would require a change of use from parking to hotel, and would be topped off with a rooftop bar.

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

 

Developers claim co-living suites earn more per square foot than regular apartment rentals

Co-living developers in New York and Washington, D.C. report strong demand from renters.

Hundreds of co-living suites are renting quickly at ALTA LIC, a new high-rise apartment building in Long Island City, Queens.

“We are now about four months ahead of our expected pace,” says Christopher Bledsoe, co-founder and CEO of Ollie, the company managing the ALTA’s co-living apartments.

Companies like Ollie are proving that there is plenty of renter demand for co-living arrangements. The co-living spaces at ALTA are now earning more dollars per sq. ft. than the new conventional apartments in the same building. Other operators of co-living properties also report strong results at their projects.

“We can only speak to performance of our OSLO properties… and they have been exceptional,” says Martin Ditto, CEO of Ditto, a company that operates three fully-occupied co-living properties in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and is now planning to open a fourth.

Strong rents prove demand for co-living

“Co-living” is a living arrangement in which the residents share some aspects of their living spaces with each other. It’s not as radical as it sounds—for Ollie and Ditto’s OLSO brand, co-living typically takes the form of multi-bedroom apartments shared by roommates. For years, the student housing industry has also been building suites that students share as roommates.

“Our product type is a natural evolution of the student housing model,” says Ollie’s Bledsoe.

ALTA LIC opened in May 2018 with 466 apartments. Of those, Ollie is operating 169 as furnished co-living suites with a total of 422 bedrooms. According to Bledsoe, it’s the largest purpose-built co-living property in the United States.

After less than a year in operation, 73 percent of these units are occupied, with renters paying from $1,260 to about $2,200 per month for a bedroom. The higher priced units may be larger, have better view, private entrances off the hallway or their own, un-shared bathrooms.

The cost of a bedroom also includes wireless Internet service and weekly housekeeping services, including bed linen, towels and toilet paper, along with shampoo and hand soap from Malin & Goetz. “It is the convenience of hotel living,” says Bledsoe.

The units are sized for efficiency and come furnished with custom furniture designed by Ollie to make the best use of small spaces. “For us a 535-square-foot studio is a two-bedroom micro-suit… a 750-square-foot one or two-bedroom is a three-bedroom suite,” says Bledsoe.

These co-living suites earn an average of 44 percent more income in rent per sq. ft. than the more conventional 297 luxury apartments at the 43-story tower, according to Bledsoe. The net operating income from these units is also 30 percent higher per sq. ft., even with the extra cost of co-living amenities like the housekeeping service.

 

Read more at National Real Estate Investor

Stanford Shopping Center wants to tear down a Macy’s store to make room for luxury retailers

The Macy’s Men’s store at Stanford Shopping Center could soon be replaced by retail heavyweights.

Simon Malls, the mall’s operator, proposed tearing down and replacing the 94,337-square-foot building with a Restoration Hardware and a Bashford luxury retailer, the Palo Alto Daily Post reports.

The men’s department store would be then merged into the shopping center’s main Macy’s store, Simon Malls Spokeswoman Solana Tanabe told the post.

A three-story, 43,581-square-foot Restoration Hardware store would reportedly take over the direct location, with a one-story 28,000-square-foot The Wilkes Bashford shop built on the nearby parking lot between Sand Hill Road and Pistache Place. Simon Malls is also looking to construct two 3,506-square-foot buildings as part of the plans.

Simon Property Group bought the mall from Stanford University back in 2003 for $333 million, though it still leases the land from the university. The surrounding region —  which includes Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside and Atherton — is prime for luxury stores, with Stanford’s median home value estimate is just of $3 million, according to Zillow.

Restoration Hardware reportedly will be designing its building to include a rooftop restaurant and garden, as well as second-floor terraces. Simon Malls also has an alcohol permit in the works.

 

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

 

Fremont City Council balks at stronger renter protections, opts for ‘minor tweaks’ to rent review law

Majority of council feels one-year old rent review program is doing well.

In the first year of Fremont’s rent review program, nearly half of those who sought help with rent increases saw them lowered, but some renters and city council members still don’t think the program goes far enough to help tenants.

The update on the program was presented by staff at the recent Fremont City Council meeting, where the council subsequently voted to make some minor tweaks to its rent review ordinance, but backed off of strengthening discrimination and retaliation protections for renters.

Councilwoman Jenny Kassan and Councilman Vinnie Bacon said they would have preferred to beef up those protections, and look at adopting rent control in the city, but the other five members of the council chose the status quo.

The city’s review ordinance is intended to help landlords and renters mediate disputes over rent increases. The council adopted the ordinance in fall 2017, and the program went into effect in 2018.

 

Read more at East Bay Times

 

 

Multifamily owners jump in the short-term rental game

When Harold Wu moved from Toronto to Baltimore for a new job, the first thing on his to-do list was to get a place to live.

As he embarked on his apartment search, the T Rowe Price senior vice president of procurement decided to book a hotel in Baltimore for a week in September.

“I looked at the usual suspects: Hilton, Marriott, Brookshire Suites, Residence Inn and so on. Then I stumbled upon WhyHotel on the internet.”

WhyHotel operates temporary hotels within multifamily buildings during a lease-up phase of a new apartment building.

Wu liked the idea of having a place with a full kitchen for the week as a home base. He never thought he’d actually end up living in that very apartment complex.

His weeklong experience at 225 Calvert ended up being the ultimate try-before-you-buy. As he looked around at other apartments — he shopped 36 in total — he found himself appreciating his temporary digs more and more. He liked the amenities, the closet space, the lockers for packages and the security. The ultimate test was of the soundproofing, and it passed.

“I wanted to see if this was a cheap renovation. You don’t hear your neighbor.”

The short-term stay aspect of the property made him nervous at first.

“Frankly, I was concerned that they had a hotel on multiple floors. I didn’t want to have a transient population walking around in my building if I were living there.”

But he has embraced it. He ended up signing a lease for a one-bedroom instead of two — he no longer has to host guests, as he has a hotel directly in his building now.

Other than seeing people with luggage around the elevator banks, Wu said he barely notices his short-term neighbors. Other apartment dwellers haven’t reported the same experiences, citing disturbances and crowded amenity spaces with the temporary guests.

Short-term rentals may not be widely accepted as a viable long-term option for a multifamily owner. Subleasing is generally not accepted, and short-term visitors can be disruptive to residents and create potential liability issues, market experts say.

 

Read more at Bisnow

 

 

NAI Northern California ranks in Top 5 San Francisco commercial real estate brokerages with revenue up 18% entering 2019

Leader in Bay Area multifamily, retail, and office investment sales and leasing transactions owes continued expansion to its team of talented people

Fast-forward from its 2004 debut on the San Francisco Bay Area real estate scene, NAI Northern California has grown in transaction volume to the 5th largest commercial real estate brokerage in San Francisco and 6th largest in the East Bay according to the San Francisco Business Times. With a major specialization in investment property sales and corporate leasing transactions, the company was up 18% in total revenue from the previous year.

“We are proud to have evolved into one the top brokerages that Bay Area investors turn to when it comes to representation of their multifamily, retail, office, industrial, and land assets,” says President James Kilpatrick.

He points out, “The secret to our success is that we invest in talented real estate professionals who provide amazing service on transactions and offer deep expertise on Northern California submarkets and far beyond. We bring together a group of people as diverse as the Bay Area itself, and we value what all these different experiences bring to serving our clients. Our company culture is really big on professional development and empowerment, from our interactive sales training workshops to our technology platform that encourages a high level of collaboration.”

At NAI Northern California’s recent 2019 Kick-Off Event hosted in downtown Oakland, James Kilpatrick and Brett Stratton led the team in celebrating great momentum. For the third year in a row, the spot of company-wide Top Producer was earned by Shivu Srinivasan, who leads one of the most successful teams in East Bay multifamily sales. Other top producers in the 2018 NAI Northern California President’s Club, include Kent Mitchell, Doug Sharpe, Ethan Berger, Tim Warren, Joel Calvillo, Mary Alam, Grant Chappell, Kevin Flaherty, Rudas Gebregiorges, and Joby Tapia.

“2018 was a great year for NAI Northern California, and we are excited to be celebrating with all our top agents in Las Vegas this spring for our Top Producers Retreat,” says James Kilpatrick. “Our San Francisco and East Bay teams are solid, and as the year unfolds NAI Northern California is ramping up an expanded presence to serve our clients in the South Bay Area.”

 

Jordan Geller on SFGate: Want to be the owner of Lucca Ravioli Co.?

 

Jordan Geller of NAI Northern California talks to SFGate.com on the sale of the iconic Lucca Ravioli location: “The family will of course review offers with the hope to find buyers who will respect the current feeling and history of the property….”

After nearly a century, San Francisco’s well-loved Lucca’s Ravioli Company on a busy Valencia Street corner will close, and the property–all total, three buildings–is for sale at $8.285 million.

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Lucca’s is a San Francisco institution…Michael Feno has made the store part of his daily life for over 50 years.

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After trying to figure out a way to keep the business in the family, Feno has decided, with mixed emotions, to put the storefront and adjacent company-owned buildings up for sale.

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The Lucca’s storefront and mixed-use structure is only one part of this package. Also for sale are associated buildings at 1102-1110 and 1114-1118 Valencia Street.

These buildings were formerly part of the Lucca Ravioli Company’s production and operations. Now, they could be just about anything: This portion of Mission District land is zoned as NCT, which stands for Neighborhood Commercial Transit district zoning.

….

Listing agents Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams indicated that Lucca’s last day of operation will be Easter of this year.

It’s hard not to want to know now what will become of the store, but Michael Feno doesn’t want to control its future. “The family will of course review offers with the hope to find buyers who will respect the current feeling and history of the property,” Geller told SFGate. “But he has no plans to limit or put conditions on the sale.”

Perhaps after almost 100 years, the family feels, finally, ready to let go.

1100-1118 Valencia St. is presented for sale by Jordan Geller and J.B. Williams of NAI Northern California. Click here for more details on this listing.

Read the full article on SFGate.com

 

Santa Clara approves agrihood, city’s largest affordable housing project in pipeline

Santa Clara has approved its largest affordable housing project in the pipeline — an “agrihood” that will combine urban living with farm life. 

The city approved the project, a public-private partnership between the city and developer The Core Cos., last week. Called Agrihood, the mixed-income property will have 361 apartments, with 181 of those below market rate, 160 of which will be for low-income seniors. A 1.7-acre urban farm and community retail and open space will complete the neighborhood.

The city had the site earmarked for senior housing for more than a decade.

“This project was borne out of a dire need to bring affordable housing through a truly creative, community-driven process. The Core Companies has kept this mission and urgency at the center of its work and dialogue with the city and community stakeholders,” The Core Cos. Senior Development Manger Vince Cantore said in a statement. “Santa Clara’s seniors have already waited more than a decade for housing at this site. An available below-market home for a senior can be the differentiator between a comfortable, safe environment in which to spend one’s golden years, or an extended period of financial stress and uncertainty.”

 

Read more at Bisnow Silicon Valley