By Jon Peterson
Oakland-based Citrine Advisors has paid $3.85 million to acquire the 33,049 square building located at 1298 East 14th Street in San Leandro. The property was sold by Wells Fargo Bank, and they were represented in the transaction by Whiff Collins, a managing director with the Cushman & Wakefield office in its Walnut Creek.
“We view this transaction as a strong value-add opportunity. Wells Fargo only has a lease on the bottom floor that runs for another 10 years. The upper three floors of the property are now vacant, which makes the overall property only 30 percent occupied. Our business plan would be to turn the property from a second or third generation of office space into creative office space that would be more suited to small technology firms,” says Jerry Smith co-founder and president of Citrine Advisors.
The floor plates in the building are 8,500 square feet. “Our idea is to have either one new tenant occupy each floor or have one tenant take all three floors. Some of the work that we will be doing is to change the look of the ceilings and put in a new HVAC system. This property would be marketed for lease as a low-priced alternative to Oakland, where rents are 20 percent to 30 percent higher,” said Smith. The leasing efforts on the property will be led by Jon Elder, a senior vice president with JLL in its Oakland office.
The property’s location is well suited from a transportation situation. It’s a quarter mile walk to the San Leandro BART station and adjacent to the property is a 300-space parking garage that is typically only about 40 percent occupied.
Citrine Advisors has been an active player mainly in the Oakland market to date, and roughly 50 percent of its assets are located in that East Bay city. The company has a history of investing and operating a mixture of office, industrial, retail and apartments.