In the first quarter of 2021, the investment sales market across the broader Bay Area remained mainly quiet, but a couple of massive transactions took place, which shaped the industry and provided some idea of where. One of them was the Kilroy Realty sale of The Exchange on 16th property in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. KKR acquired the property for just over $1 billion. The other was the Uptown Station sale in Oakland, which marked a new watermark for office properties in the East Bay. CIM sold the 396,808 square foot property to Singapore-based Mapletree for $420 million, or nearly $1,058 per square foot.
But one more notable sale in Berkeley was recorded during the first quarter of 2021. 1625 Shattuck Ave., a 3-story, 27,155-square-foot office property sold for $16.5 million, or just around $606 per square foot, according to public records. The seller was Cohen Rojas Capital Partners, according to a recent, Q1 of 2021 market report by Cushman & Wakefield. The buyer was HTC America.
According to the property’s Loopnet listing, 1625 Shattuck is one of Berkeley’s premium office buildings, and is the only Class A professional office space in the Gourmet Ghetto / North Berkeley commercial district. The building is also just blocks from the downtown Berkeley BART station, and it features four surface baking spaces and another 50 covered spaces.
In the East Bay, the commercial real estate market saw a decline in office occupancy levels due to government shelter-in place orders, while the warehousing and distribution sector recorded consistent growth due to increasing consumer reliance on online marketplaces, stated the Cushman & Wakefield report. The vacancy rate in the East Bay Oakland office market was 16.8 percent at the end of the first quarter, up 120 bps from the end of 2020, according to the report.
Sublease space also flooded the market over the past year with nearly 1.3 million square feet presently available, reaching levels not attained since the Dot-Com recession. Sublease givebacks were concentrated in the Oakland CBD, where there is 670,000 square feet presently available, marking a 123 percent increase from this time last year, stated Cushman & Wakefield. Vacancy is expected to continue rising in the near-term, and with no major projects delivering in the next year, this rise will be manifested exclusively in givebacks of existing space.