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Amid office space crunch, Google grows in San Francisco

As its fellow tech giants jockey for space in downtown San Francisco, Google has signed another office lease in the southern Financial District, The Chronicle has learned.

The Mountain View company is taking an additional 57,299 square feet at Hills Plaza at 2 Harrison St., according to real estate data company CoStar. That brings the total in the complex, where Google has had an office since 2007, to more than 400,000 square feet.

Google did not respond to a request for comment. Architecture firm Gensler occupied the space before recently moving to 45 Fremont St. A Morgan Stanley investment fund owns Hills Plaza.

Google is also in talks to sublease space from Salesforce, two sources said. The potential deal could be up to 228,000 square feet at Rincon Center at 101 Spear St. No contract has been signed.

Salesforce is one of the few large tech tenants vacating space as it consolidates workers into Salesforce Tower, which opened in January, and adjacent buildings. Salesforce, the city’s largest tech employer with 7,500 employees, is also subleasing space at the Landmark building at One Market Plaza.

Google’s expansion follows office leases by Facebook, Dropbox and other fast-growing tech companies, which have broken records for size and made San Francisco one of the priciest and tightest office markets in the country.

The office vacancy rate in San Francisco’s southern Financial District, which includes the area around the Transbay Transit Center, is 4.6 percent, down from 6 percent in the first quarter, according to CoStar.

“The new development has pretty much been snatched up,” said Jesse Gundersheim, CoStar’s San Francisco market economist. “Opportunity like sublease space from Salesforce is pretty rare.”

Read more on The San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

Why clothing stores are still opening in San Francisco

A majority of shuttered mall stores over the past few years have been clothing shops, but new Bay Area leases show a sector not in free fall quite yet.

Hip women’s clothier ModCloth, streetwear brand Supreme, athleisure label outdoor Voice and luxury basics purveyor Everlane are among a new class of specialized labels defying recent trends.

Shifting consumer demands, years of oversupply and the rise of ecommerce combined to trigger more than 7,050 tore closings last year, according to Coresight Research. Already, the New York-based retail analyst has tracked nearly 3,900 store closings compared to about 1,800 openings this year.

Yet, while most clothing brands are racing to weed out underperforming stores, others are ramping up.

 

Read more on San Francisco Business Times

 

 

The future of the shopping mall is not about shopping

When Cirque du Soleil announced plans this week for a “family entertainment” concept inside a Toronto mall, it said a lot about the future of shopping centers.

The 24,000 sq.ft. space, called “Creactive”, will be a circus-inspired playground with a range of activities from juggling to high-wire – allowing fans to “peek behind the curtain and imagine themselves stepping into our artists’ shoes”, according to Marie Josée Lamy, producer of Creactive. “Hanging at the mall” will take on an entirely new connotation as shoppers take to the flying trapeze. And that’s the point.

No longer is it good enough for malls to be passive places to buy stuff – they have to be engaging places to do stuff. Otherwise, this particular retail format will be relegated to relic status – “a historical anachronism, a 60-year or so aberration that no longer meets the public’s, the consumer’s or the retailer’s needs”, as developer Rick Caruso mused.

With that point in mind, I draw your attention to Exhibit A: Randall Park Mall in Ohio. When it opened in 1976, Randall Park Mall was briefly the world’s biggest shopping center. It quickly lost relevance however, and by 2000, Randall Park Mall’s vacancy rate was 92%. Fast forward to 2017 when it was revealed that Amazon was constructing a 855,000 shipping center on the same site. Online triumphs over offline, or “software eats retail” as Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen memorably put it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

 

Read more on Forbes

 

 

AI is Changing the CRE Game: Here’s 5 Ways

CRE industry leaders using artificial intelligence to analyze and apply data to decision making saw productivity increase of up to 6% compared to competitors.

In a study by Harvard Business Review about the revolution of big data as a management tool, it was found that artificial intelligence used to analyze and apply data to decision making by those at the top of the CRE industry saw an increase of up to 6% in productivity compared to their competitors.

AI is changing the CRE game in several different ways and in turn, having an impact on all CRE sectors in different ways.

Read more from NAI Global

 

 

Will commercial real estate values fall? This is how investors can prepare

Will the commercial real estate market always go up? Of course not.

But investors have been spoiled by two decades of double-digit returns that were too good to last. In 2016, returns on institutional-grade property fell below a 20-year 10.1% average for only the first time since the Great Recession, and the latest Urban Land Institute’s Real Estate Economic Forecast puts estimated 2018 and 2019 returns around 6%.

Commercial real estate is cyclical, so it’s logical to expect a downturn at some point. But conventional wisdom holds that it won’t come soon. Colliers International’s 2018 Outlook on U.S. property markets says 2017 was the market’s peak, but the commercial real estate industry is expected to show continued growth, albeit at a more moderate pace, making a real estate market crash less likely.

Although the commercial real estate market’s outlook is still respectable, should investors be deterred by a potential decrease in returns from investment properties in the coming years? As the founder of a real estate investment firm, my informed answer is no. In fact, I believe investors should own private commercial real estate in every market cycle for the following reasons.

Read more from Forbes

 

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.

Exclusive Research Reveals Stable Outlook for the Multifamily Sector

Capital is continuing to flow to the multifamily sector. Despite concerns that the real estate cycle is peaking—and with high levels of multifamily construction in some metros—fundamentals have steadily improved and investment sales remain robust. Exclusive research conducted by NREI indicates that the market is likely to stay that course for at least another 12 months.

Apartments remain a favored property type among commercial real estate investors. When asked to rate the attractiveness of the different core property types on a scale of 1 to 10, survey respondents scored multifamily the highest at 7.9, but the score on industrial properties continues to gain ground. It now stands at 7.5. Hotels and office assets both scored at 5.9, while retail’s score has crashed to 4.5.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

NAI Northern California celebrates continued growth with 21% revenue increase by third quarter of 2017

The tech-forward, collaborative brokerage continues to emerge as an up-and-comer on the Bay Area commercial real estate scene

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 17, 2017–  Continuing to evolve as a growing force in the San Francisco Bay Area commercial real estate landscape, NAI Northern California forges into the third quarter of 2017 with revenue already surging past 2016. As of October, the brokerage has increased gross revenue by 21% over last year. Across retail, multifamily, office, industrial, and land, the total square footage of transactions closed by the team more than tripled.

In regards to NAI Northern California’s growth and the current market, President James Kilpatrick points out, “While the Bay Area has been experiencing an extraordinarily long real estate cycle, this seems to be accelerating further as our number of successful transactions is up by 31%.”

Multifamily investment sales are active as investors focus on residents looking beyond San Francisco to the East Bay. Top producing broker Shivu Srinivasan closed the $28.75 million acquisition of an 88 unit apartment complex at 4445 Stevenson Boulevard in Fremont and the $13 million sale of a 70 unit property at 250 West Jackson in Hayward.

In retail, NAI Northern California is carving out a niche by successfully closing over $100 million in triple net shopping centers and single tenant properties this year.Top producer Mary Alam spearheaded the $13.6 million sale of the Newark Shopping Center and several Walgreens properties among others.

Growing market share is directly impacted by the addition of talent. In 2017, experienced industry professionals Tony Alanis, Kevin Flaherty, Fritz Jacobs, Matt Gorman, Gregg Steele, Reggie Regino, Brent Stiggins, and Darija Walker joined the company’s brokerage and financing groups.

James Kilpatrick remarks, “Our growth is truly predicated on our talented team. We are unique in the commercial real estate industry, empowering our professionals to take a collaborative approach supported by a tech-forward platform that helps them be nimble as they get deals done for our clients.”

About NAI Northern California
NAI Northern California is a progressive, full service commercial real estate firm serving the Bay Area. Recognized as one of the Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Firms by the East Bay and San Francisco Business Times, we are committed to delivering best in class services for our clients.

www.nainorcal.com

How California’s State And Local Governments Are Addressing The Affordable Housing Crisis

With the highest cost of housing in the nation, California’s affordable housing crisis is threatening the economic vitality of the state.

The majority of renters, more than 3 million, pay more than 30% of their gross monthly income for housing, and one-third of renters, about 1.5 million, pay more than 50% of their income for a place to live, according to a California Department of Housing and Community Development report.

Read more from Bisnow