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The San Francisco office pipeline is overflowing

The SF office pipeline is overflowing. The city only has enough cap space to approve about 2.1 million square feet of office space, but over 8.1 million square feet are currently proposed. So what happens to the developers who want to add that extra 6 million?

The Planning Commission can only approve 950,000 square feet of office development per year, with any unused approvals rolling over into the next year. When there’s not enough cap space to go around, the commissioners get to develop their own policies to decide which projects will go forward and which will have to wait until next year. One such policy approves projects in phases, so a given project might be able to start work on half of its square footage this year and resubmit the second half for approval next year; the idea is that this helps projects get started moving forward more quickly. However, it also means that they take longer to complete. From The San Francisco Business Times: “Doing so means ‘uncertainty, and it means a longer approval process,’ said Ryan Patterson, a partner at Zacks, Freedman & Patterson. ‘Time is money. So longer approval processes mean more expense. And that means even higher office rents.’”

Some developers have been able to carve out exemptions by getting voters to approve them; the Shipyard project in Hunter’s Point got its 5 million square feet of office space approved this way. The current system doesn’t seem likely to go away, though, leaving commissioners with a lot of power and developers with a lot of waiting.

Source: San Francisco Business Times

How to take advantage of “Opportunity Zones”

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created new rules for “opportunity zones,” underdeveloped neighborhoods, sheltering your investments from federal taxes with minimal limits and employment requirements. You only have a few more months to maximize the benefits of this program: so how does it work?

When you sell a property, you can immediately reinvest that gain, tax-deferred, into an Opportunity Zone by depositing it into a qualified Opportunity Zone fund (either one you create or a traditional one). Then you have two choices; buy a property in one of the zones, or invest in a business in the zone. We’ll focus on the property option.

You have 31 months to purchase your new property, whether it’s multifamily, retail, industrial, or office space. Eventually, you need to invest the same amount of money as the property’s structures (not land!) currently are worth; if the current building is worth $100,000, you need to spend $100,000 remodeling, rebuilding, or otherwise upgrading the building. This means if you buy a property with a structure worth very little, you don’t have to do much to get the tax benefits.

Speaking of benefits, not only is the tax on your original gains deferred until 2026, but if you hold it for seven years, 15 percent of that gain will completely avoid federal capital gains taxes. (You only get 10 percent if you hold it for five years.) And if you hold it for ten years and your new investment appreciates? None of that appreciation is taxable under federal capital gains taxes. This is an opportunity indeed!

There are 102 opportunity zones designated around the Bay Area, including in Oakland, Concord, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, and even San Francisco; visit the SF Business Times’ site for maps and stats about the zones, or contact one of our advisors to find a property that matches your investment goals.

Sources: BizJournals.com, Tax Policy Center

Read our June 25, 2019 newsletter

Housing development and building pipeline up to a record high in San Francisco

In San Francisco in 2019 the overall pipeline of housing being developed hit a record 72,865 units, up over 5,050 from Q1 2018.

The number of units in developments which are currently under construction and should be ready for occupancy within the next year or two has increased, from 8,100 at the end of last year to 8,500 in the Q1 2019, which is within 3 percent of the current cycle peak of 8,800 set in Q3 2015.

Around 16,800 permitted and approved units are in play, while some major housing projects in Treasure Island, Park Merced, and Candlestick area.

Read more on Socket Site

 

What are San Francisco’s plans for Mid-Market?

 Mid-Market’s vacancies, stalled developments trigger plants to activate dormant sites.

Stalled developments have meant boarded-up walls, vandalism and empty storefronts have become all too common along the upper stretch of Market Street. The city is hoping a new type of temporary permit will spark change.

Read more on NAI Northern California’s newsletter

How are Tech IPOs affecting Bay Area Housing?

How upcoming tech IPOs could affect the Bay Area housing market.

Last week, San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup Lyft finally filed to go public – the first of what is expected to be a number of area startups (such as Uber, Slack and Pinterest) that could be making the leap from the private market this year. To understand what this means for those living and working in the Bay Area, I talked to a couple of people in the real estate industry to get their thoughts. The short answer: The IPOs will almost certainly impact inventory and pricing.

Read more on NAI Northern California’s Newsletter

What are the Golden State Warriors’ latest plans for Downtown Oakland?

Warriors won’t practice in Oakland next season but will leave downtown facility in hands of youth programs.

The Golden State Warriors announced Monday they won’t stick around to practice in their downtown Oakland basketball facility next season as they make their move to the under-construction Chase Center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood a complete one. But that doesn’t mean the Warriors are totally abandoning the city that’s been their physical home — if not their namesake — for almost half a century.

Read more on East Bay Times

Downtown San Jose hotel tower proposal gets dozens more rooms

19-story hotel in downtown San Jose would have 272 rooms.

A downtown San Jose hotel tower would have many more rooms than first proposed, according to new plans being offered by the project’s developer.

Originally, the hotel planned for the northeast corner of North Almaden Boulevard and West Santa Clara Street would have contained 220 rooms, but the latest plans propose 272 rooms, plans from project developer KT Urban shows.

“There are several key factors driving the demand for new hotel rooms in the downtown core,” said Mark Tersini, principal executive with KT Urban. “They include convention center demands for larger venues, job growth in San Jose and the Bay Area, office expansion, along with the SAP Center events.”

Among the biggest corporate plans for downtown San Jose: Google plans a transit village of offices, homes, shops, restaurants and parks near the Diridon train station, while Adobe is pushing ahead with a big expansion of its existing three-building  campus with the addition of a fourth office tower.

Plus, other firms such as WeWork, Zoom and Xactly have expanded downtown, and WeWork wants even more office space for its co-working concept.

“We believe the hotel as designed will be a tremendous addition to the downtown core, providing state-of-the-art accommodations,” Tersini said.

Some residents have raised concerns that the hotel’s proposed height could overshadow nearby buildings such as the adjacent De Anza Hotel and block views of residents living in the Axis residential tower.

 

Read more at East Bay Times

 

 

Transit-oriented development changing how Oakland grows

When it comes to the future of Oakland, a good amount of the development that will change the city has one thing in common: the transit station nearby. 

Bay Area Rapid Transit has committed to an ambitious plan to build mixed-use transit-oriented developments around its stations throughout the Bay Area, and a number of those projects will be in Oakland.

Already, the transit authority has started to transform land around MacArthur Station in the northern part of the city as well as Fruitvale Station to the southeast. Construction is underway on Coliseum Transit Village from UrbanCore Development and Oakland Economic Development Corp.

Future plans call for continued development on those sites and projects to go up around downtown BART stations.

BART’s transit-oriented development policy states that the agency will only move forward with future developments in cities that have adopted station area plans, and Oakland has been at the forefront, BART’s Sean Brooks said. Brooks, the department manager of real estate and property development for BART, will speak about TODs at Bisnow’s The Evolution of Downtown Oakland March 13.

Projects already underway have required upzoning, and the city also has been progressive about parking requirements, Brooks said.

“The city has kind of bent over backwards to help and advance some of these projects,” he said.

Case in point: the planned development for West Oakland, which got through the planning commission in record time, he said. The project was helped along in no small part because of the affordable housing it is bringing to the city.

 

Read more at Bisnow Oakland

 

Fight brews over hotel and housing project near Moscone Center

In San Francisco’s SoMa, an argument over city transparency could threaten to derail a key hotel and housing project. 

Across the street from the Moscone Center, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency wants to turn a 732-spot garage on public land into a lucrative development. The idea is to help lure more conventions to the expanded Moscone Center, which just underwent a $550 million renovation, and build urgently needed affordable home.

But SFMTA has made a series of missteps that reveal a lack of transparency in how cities may handle public land, say community advocates, including keeping the development proposals private, not holding public meetings, and delaying the selection process. Those criticisms boiled over at a recent SFMTA board meeting and have worked their way up to the district supervisor’s ears.

The SFMTA is “trying to hold its cards closer to the chest, but that may end up making problems for them moving forward,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents the surrounding constituents. Haney is meeting with community members tonight about the process.

 

Read more at San Francisco Business Times

 

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