China Live and San Francisco Film Society Take Most of Available Space at 644 Broadway Announces Cypress Properties Group

1403_GM_Marsh_Broadway_154San Francisco, CA: – Cypress Properties Group Co-Managing Principals Chris Wight and Jeff Lee announced today that a new restaurant and hospitality concept “China Live” headed by noted restaurateur, George Chen, plus the San Francisco Film Society, have committed to long-term leases at 644 Broadway Street, a 45,000-square-foot building in San Francisco.

Concurrently, Wight and Lee have acquired an adjacent property – 660 Broadway, and signed China Live to a long-term lease there as part of Chen’s concept for the first floor of 644 Broadway.

China Live leased approximately 20,000 square feet and the San Francisco Film Society leased approximately 4,000 square feet. Lease terms were not disclosed.

Founded by restaurateurs George Chen and his wife Cindy Wong-Chen (Shanghai 1930, Betelnut), and managing partner Richard Miyashiro (Boulevard, Kitchen Door, Hakkasan), China Live will be a 20,000-square-foot culinary destination occupying the ground floors of 644 and 660 Broadway.  The plan is to create an unprecedented Chinese food and beverage marketplace on the ground floors, presenting curated interactive retail and a variety of casual dining options prepared at exhibition kitchens.  The second floor at 644 will include Eight Tables, an intimate upscale restaurant, in addition to a bar, lounge and banquet space.  Both venues are scheduled to open by Chinese New Year, February 19, 2015.

The San Francisco Film Society has joined the project as anchor cultural tenant and leased a portion of the 4th floor at 644 Broadway to house its innovative and popular FilmHouse residency program, which provides free office space to up to 25 filmmakers to work on narrative feature projects in any stage of production, from development to post. SFFS FilmHouse is funded by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Broadway space is scheduled for occupancy by August this year. For more information visit http://sffs.org/Filmmaker360/FilmHouse-Residencies.aspx.

“When we looked at this building we just saw this huge opportunity to do something creative with the space and re-energize the neighborhood. We could not be more pleased to have China Live and the San Francisco Film Society as occupiers and partners in fulfilling our vision for the property,” said Chris Wight.

The third floor of 644 Broadway is available to lease and the property includes a subterranean, 437-seat theater with direct access to Broadway.

“We want to lease the remaining space to unique companies that share the vision of creating a world-class destination for locals, tourists and the creative community and even draw inspiration from the past, when this area was the focal point of the ‘Beat Generation’ with the likes of Dylan, Kerouac, Ginsberg and Kenneth Rexroth hanging nearby at City Light’s Book Store and Tosca in North Beach,” said Jeff Lee.

644 Broadway is near Columbus Avenue on the edge of Chinatown and borders the North Beach and Jackson Square neighborhoods in San Francisco. The building is four stories and was previously occupied by Gold Mountain Restaurant, which took the first three floors and was considered to be one of the largest dim sum restaurants in the U.S. Cypress Properties Group acquired the building at the end of May in 2013 for $8.5 million.

Senior Director Kelly Glass and Associate Director David Scanlon with Cushman & Wakefield were the only brokers involved in the China Live and San Francisco Film Society leases.

Cypress Properties Group Acquires 660 Broadway in San Francisco
Cypress Properties Group acquired the 12,000-square-foot 660 Broadway Street from a private investor for $3.45 million. China Live will occupy the ground floor while the second story is comprised of nine leased residential units.
660 Broadway was built in the 1960s and originally opened as the Peppermint Tree lounge, hosting such legendary entertainers as Little Richard, The Byrds and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

About Cypress Properties Group LLC
Founded by San Francisco Bay Area commercial real estate veterans Chris Wight and Jeff Lee, Cypress Properties Group invests in real estate projects that demand creative vision and collaborative partnerships to enhance the value of acquisition targets while concurrently improving the neighborhoods in which the assets are located and the lives of the people that ultimately occupy the space. Wight and Lee both of have master-planned development experience having worked for Catellus Development Corp., Reynolds and Brown Development Co. and Opus West Corp. Further, they also have brokerage backgrounds. For many years Wight was with Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International specializing in Capital Markets, while Lee was an East Bay broker with CBRE. Based in Lafayette, CA, Cypress Properties Group is a member of 1% for the Planet, an organization founded by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and takes an active role in their real estate and environmental endeavors.

About The San Francisco Film Society
Building on a legacy of more than 50 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services. The crown jewel of the Film Society’s exhibition program is the San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24–May 8, 2014), the longest-running film festival in the Americas and a beloved showcase of cinematic discovery. The SFFS Education department offers year-round media literacy programs to over 10,000 K–12 students, and develops college and university programs to help students transition into the professional filmmaking arena. Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker support program, offers unparalleled assistance and opportunities designed to foster creativity and further the careers of independent filmmakers nationwide and oversees one of the largest film grant programs in the country, which disperses nearly $1 million annually to incubate and support innovative and exceptional films.

About China Live
Founded by restaurateurs George Chen and his wife Cindy Wong-Chen (Shanghai 1930, Betelnut), and managing partner Richard Miyashiro (Boulevard, Kitchen Door, Hakkasan), China Live will be a 20,000-square-foot culinary destination occupying the ground floors of 644 and 660 Broadway.  The plan is to create an unprecedented Chinese food and beverage marketplace on the ground floors, presenting curated interactive retail and a variety of casual dining options prepared at exhibition kitchens.  The second floor at 644 will include Eight Tables, an intimate upscale restaurant, in addition to a bar, lounge and banquet space. Both venues are scheduled to open by Chinese New Year, February 19, 2015.

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