A jade structure in the heart of Oakland that sits across the street from the future home of Uber in Oakland sold in March for $19.5 million, or approximately $324 per square foot. The buyer was La Jolla-based HP Investors. The I. Magnin building was sold by CallSocket Holding, a group led by entrepreneur Thomas Henderson, which purchased the building in 2013 for $9.8 million, or $163 per square foot.
The greenish art deco building was first constructed in 1930 and was a store for the retailer during most of the 20th century. Henderson’s company transformed it into a call center and leased a portion of the building to San Francisco-based Minted and Vigilent, which at the time was relocating its offices from El Cerrito to Oakland.[contextly_sidebar id=”TERgnp1AqmRmhowO0j0LG8U5qzRYHQBL”]This transaction represents the fourth Oakland purchase for the La Jolla investor. Along with the I. Magning building, HP Investors also own retail assets at 2131 Broadway, 2344 Harrison and an asset at 222 Broadway in the Jack London Square neighborhood.
According to its Web site, HP Investors is focused on urban and infill real estate investment opportunities. The firm’s strategy with these types of properties is positioned to benefit from changing demographics, consumer spending habits and increasing real estate scarcity in such neighborhoods, the company stated.
As The Registry reported earlier, Oakland, for all the interest it is generating lately, is also one of the most restrictive markets in the Bay Area with single-digit office availability, according to published reports by a number of brokerage houses that track the office space in Oakland and the East Bay. One of the largest available spaces in the market was taken in September of 2015 when Uber announced it was buying the 380,000 square foot Sears building in Oakland, just across the street from the I. Magnin property. The San Francisco-based ride sharing company spent $123.5 million, or roughly $325 per square foot to acquire the asset from Menlo Park-based Lane Partners and their partner, Chicago-based Walton Street Capital.
Interest in Oakland has not subsided since. Shortly after the Uber announcement, San Francisco developer TMG Partners purchased the 1330 Broadway building, a 300,000 square foot, 18-story office building in the heart of downtown Oakland for which the company paid $75 million, or $250 per square foot.
Just preceding that purchase, Rubicon Point Partners bought two buildings at 505 14th Street and 1300 Clay Street from San Francisco-based Strada Investment Group and Angelo Gordon for $115 million, or roughly $313 per square foot.