Brisbane Office Properties’ Renovations Will Add Unique Space to the Market

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By Nancy Amdur

Westport Capital Partners LLC is working to renovate two office properties at Sierra Point in Brisbane with an eye on repositioning the 150,000-square-foot campus for today’s workforce.

[contextly_sidebar id=”bNxFpflGwWf6piRRb6EzeIeRDwpA0ZHw”]“It’s a complete rebirth of this project for the modern day working environment,” said Simon Clark, a first vice president with commercial real estate brokerage CBRE Group, Inc., in Foster City, who is a listing broker for the project.

Certain affiliates of Westport acquired the vacant bayfront properties at 5000 and 7000 Marina Blvd. last year and Westport plans to spend approximately $10 million on interior and exterior renovations, said Eric Clapp, a managing director of the investment management company. While the purchase price was not disclosed, tax records show the two properties’ assessment value for the 2013-2014 fiscal year at a combined $25.5 million value. This figure represents a 26 percent drop from the previous year’s (2012-2013) combined assessment of $34.6 million.

Renovations are slated to begin this month and be completed in six to eight months, said Colby Durnin, the CEO and principal at Irvine, Calif.-based Sentinel Development Services, Inc., which is working on the project.

The properties, being rebranded as Marina Landing, were occupied by Walmart.com from 2001-2011 and have sat vacant for about four years. The five-story 85,000-square-foot 7000 Marina property was built in 1986 as the headquarters for the R. Dakin Co., a plush toy manufacturer. It also served as the headquarters for former consumer electronics chain The Good Guys in the early ’90s. The three-story, 65,000-square-foot 5000 Marina building was constructed for Walmart.com in 2001.

The 7000 Marina property features a nearly five-story atrium, which creates a “stunning” space and offers bay views, Clark said. Plans call for changing the windows to allow more light and enhance the view, said Seth Hanley, the principal and creative director of San Francisco-based architecture and design firm Design Blitz, who is the project’s architect. Design Blitz also recently worked with Westport on repositioning 1019 Market St. in San Francisco, which now houses software development company Zendesk. Roll-up doors and a patio also will be added to the 7000 Marina building to create collaborative space for events such as meetings or presentations, Durnin said. Both buildings feature approximately 20,000-square-foot floor plates and amenities include outside walking trails, access to a marina a unobstructed bay views.

“[Westport] recognized the potential of these buildings for creative office space,” Hanley said. Design Blitz is working to “open the space up so it feels more user friendly,” while also connecting the campuses visually and unifying the landscape “to create a pathway between the buildings so it’s easy to navigate one to another,” he added.

Renovations on the 5000 Marina building will include adding new landscaping, upgrading the interior lobby and removing private offices to form more collaborative space, said Cameron Bassett, Sentinel’s vice president of development.

“We’re creating architectural features to have the two buildings communicate with each other and have features that will mirror each other,” Durnin said.

Exterior renovations will give the properties a campus feel so they will be “brothers and sisters instead of just neighbors,” Clapp said.

A variety of users are suited for the buildings, but because most Bay Area office space lately is being leased by technology tenants, Westport wants to “make sure the buildings are properly positioned for them,” Clapp said.

Westport also notes that other types of companies are veering from the traditional office layout.

“We’re finding that tenants in general are embracing the types of spaces that technology tenants are wanting to live in,” Clapp said. “They’re embracing the collaborative spaces, embracing moving around [and] having a lot of openness.”

“We have great flexibility to work with both traditional and technology companies to create something unique to them,” Durnin said.

Companies can “create their own environment,” Clark added.

One or more tenants could occupy the space, but due to the limited amount of Bay Area office space in this size range, the project likely is best suited for a tenant looking to grow and use both buildings, Clapp said.

Brisbane is located just across the southern border of San Francisco and is off of Highway 101. Sierra Point also is accessible from the city via bike using surface streets, Clapp said. San Francisco International Airport is nearby. The Marina Landing properties also offer direct views of San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, which combined with the property’s proximity to the highway, allow for strong signage opportunities, Durnin and Clapp said.

Office vacancy in the Brisbane/Daly City market stands at 29.7 percent and the average rent for Class A space is $3.86 per square foot, according to a fourth quarter CBRE report.

The Marina Boulevard properties might attract companies that were looking for a San Francisco address, as sizable city office space is scarce and rents average $63.24 per square foot, according to CBRE. The brokerage is tracking 11 office tenants in the San Francisco market seeking more than 100,000 square feet and there are just eight blocks of office space available in that size range to meet those requirements, said Mark Geisreiter, a senior vice president in CBRE’s San Francisco office, who also is a listing broker for 5000 and 7000 Marina Blvd.

While there already is steady demand for office space in the Daly City/Brisbane market, leasing this project could raise Brisbane’s profile, Clark said.

“It’s going to breathe whole new life into that market,” he said

The 5000 and 7000 Marina Blvd. properties fit into Westport’s core specialty of making opportunistic and distressed real estate investments. The company has offices in El Segundo, Calif.; Wilton, Conn.; and London.

Images courtesy of Design Blitz

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