CIM Puts Uptown Station in Oakland Back on the Market, Seeking Pricing at ~$420MM

Image courtesy of Gensler

By Jon Peterson

Los Angeles-based CIM Group is again attempting to sell the 396,808 square-foot Uptown Station office building in Oakland after Blackstone walked away from the purchase in April of 2020. The possible pricing on the sale could be somewhere in the neighborhood of $420 million, or around $1,058 per square foot, according to multiple sources familiar with property. 

The seller is once again using the San Francisco office of Newmark to be the listing agent on the sale. Those involved for the transaction include Steven Golubchik, vice chairman, Tyler Meyerdirk, senior managing director, and Daren Hollak, associate director. Newmark did not respond to either phone calls or emails seeking comment for this story.

Uptown Station is located at 1955 Broadway in Oakland’s revived Uptown neighborhood. It was put up for sale last year, and New York-based Blackstone had put the property under contract in February of last year. The planned transaction was for about $405 million or $1,020 per square foot, as stated by sources that track the sale of office buildings in the Oakland market.

A couple of months later, Blackstone chose to pull away from the acquisition of the property in the wake of uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, which was emerging and spreading quickly across the globe at that time. This led to the investor giving up a $20 million non-refundable deposit on the property. This represented one of the first times that Blackstone had done this in its investment history.

Should the price point be reached by CIM this time around, it would represent a new record paid per square foot for an office asset in Oakland. The current record is held by the sale of 180 Grand in Oakland. AXA IM had acquired the office building for $175 million in July 2019, according to public records. The price point comes in at around $632 per square foot. If the new pricing is achieved for Uptown Station, it could come close to 67 percent higher than the previous high watermark.

Uptown Station will likely lead to a good deal of investor interest. The seven-story office building is leased to fin-tech pioneer Square Inc. The lease with this tenant has another 11 years left to go. Single-tenant office assets leased to credit tenants are the type of office assets that have been garnering much of the investor’s attention in the San Francisco Bay Area since the start of COVID-19. According to industry sources that transact in office properties across the region, investors would prefer not to have to deal with multiple tenants for its office assets during this economic uncertainty.

When Uptown Station was up for sale last year, it also had one level of retail space. One of its tenants was Shake Shack. Others included Slice House gourmet pizza, Once Medical and Reb Bay Coffee.

There have been three owners of the asset over the past six years. CIM has been the owner of Uptown Station since December of 2017. It had acquired the property for $180 million, or approximately $505 per square foot, according to public records and The Registry’s earlier reporting. The investment firm had bought the asset from Uber, which in 2015 was considering occupying the entire property. Uber had spent $123.5 million, or roughly $325 per square foot, in September of 2015 to buy the building from Menlo Park-based Lane Partners and their equity partner, Chicago-based Walton Street Capital. The two firms had purchased the building a year earlier for $24.2 million, or just over $63 per square foot, and invested another $40 million into the project.

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