Fresh on the heels of a $284 million investment in downtown San Jose’s Cityview Plaza, San Francisco-based developer and real estate investor Jay Paul is set to make another bet on the Bay Area’s largest city. This time, Jay Paul is investing $46 million to buy a building located at 1 North First St. in San Jose, according to public records. The seller is an entity associated with San Francisco-based Lift Partners and Palm Beach Gardens, FL-based Westbrook Partners, which had owned the building since August of 2016 when it paid $16 million for the property.
The 71-year-old, 110,000 square-foot property was once home to JC Penney’s department store, and when the current owners bought it, they envisaged a transformation for the building on which they embarked shortly after the acquisition.
“Basically the only thing that won’t be new [in the building] will be all of the great pieces that you want to keep, which are the floors and the old steel and the board-formed concrete on the inside,” said Chris Freise in a report by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. He is a partner at Lift Partners and works out of the company’s San Francisco office.
Most recently, Blue Bottle Coffee had announced it would be opening its first South Bay location in the building. The further south the company now serves coffee is in Palo Alto at 456 University Avenue.
According to the report, Blue Bottle is still scheduled to remain in the property, and the redevelopment plans will continue as is for the time being.
Lift Partners describes itself as a full-service real estate investment company that focuses on adaptive re-use and repositioning of commercial properties. The company was founded just a year before this acquisition, in 2015, and provides asset management, leasing services and development and construction management services for its investments on behalf of its joint-venture partners, according to a statement on the firm’s web site. Lift’s portfolio to date has included over $200 million in gross investment, over $50 million of construction projects and one million square feet of assets in Bay Area, Seattle & Southern California.
Jay Paul Company is a privately held, opportunity-driven real estate firm based in San Francisco, according to the firm’s web site statement. Founded in 1975, the company concentrates on the acquisition, development and management of prime commercial properties throughout California.
Jay Paul Company has successfully developed over eleven million square feet of institutional quality space with an additional six million square feet in active development pipeline.