By Jon Peterson
oWow, an Oakland-based development company, has acquired the redevelopment site in Oakland located at 1510 Webster for $8 million. The buyer has acquired this site from a private individual as an off-market transaction.
The acquisition was made by the buyer using some of its own capital as well as using a mixture of seller carry back financing and PACE funding, which is a funding source for clean energy bond financing.
Danny Haber, founder of oWow, sees this property as an excellent location.“We are two to three blocks from the 12th Street BART station. There also are roughly 1,000 to 2,000 Class A apartment units being developed or under construction in the immediate area. It’s out opinion that these residents will need a place to work or just hang out,” said Haber.
The first plan for the site is to renovate the existing four-story office asset that is on the property and lease it out. The cost of the planned improvements for this part of the project is upwards of $15 million, Haber said. “We will fix up the existing space to make it suitable for tenants that are looking for new creative office space. The work will likely take 18 months to complete, and there will be a total of 50,000 gross square feet available,” he added.
The property in the past two decades had been used as a sewing factory, and today it is a vacant building.
oWow has not hired any leasing teams to fill up the office space at this point. This investor is interested in hearing from leasing agents that might be inclined to represent oWow in this project. Occupancy will be flexible in the renovated property, and oWow will work with interested parties to customize the space. “Our preference would be to have a single tenant take the whole building, but we would also accept single-floor users,” said Haber.
Another part of the renovation would be on the ground floor. oWow would like to have a restaurant, bar or a gathering place for residents just to hang out.
Finally, there is a potential second phase to the project. This is to build workforce housing above the office space. The total number of residential units could be in the range of 120 to 140 units on the existing structure that would be part of the redevelopment of the office portion. The product that Haber is considering at the moment would be to allow flexible living quarters that can house families, roommates or single occupants.