By Jon Peterson
With offices San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, Rockwood Capital has paid approximately $154 million to buy the 230,000 square foot 301-381 East Evelyn Avenue office building campus near downtown Mountain View, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The five-building campus, which is situated on 17 acres of prime Silicon Valley real estate, is a one of only a few large-scale office campuses in the region with proximity to Caltrain and walking distance to downtown Mountain View.[contextly_sidebar id=”39ccdcf7d056af7d153b688f283df1be”]Jason Oberman, a director for Rockwood in its regional office in San Francisco, declined to comment beyond a prepared statement on the transaction.
The seller of the property was Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, formerly known as RREEF, out of its New York office. The firm also declined to comment on this transaction when contacted for this story.
Rockwood was first attracted to the property by its location, according to sources familiar with the asset. It’s rare to find an office campus kind of setting that is within walking distance to downtown Mountain View’s Caltrain station. This is something that many tenants are looking for when considering their space needs as it helps them attract and keep talented employees.
An example of this is what Mozilla did by moving into the campus in January of this year when it signed a leased for 60,000 square feet. This tenant had occupied space at 650 Castro Street in Mountain View previously. It chose to move into the Rockwood Campus asset because it wanted to be closer to a Caltrain station and was looking for more of a location of a campus feel, according to sources aware of this move.
The office campus property, which was originally constructed in 1988, is now roughly 25 percent vacant. All of this space is in the 60,000 square foot building that is located at 321 East Evelyn Avenue. Rockwood is in the process of hiring a firm to assist in the leaseup of the available space.
The city has recently seen a surge of acquisitions, mainly led by Google, Inc. In mid May, the technology giant had paid top dollar, about $625 per square foot or $250 million, to acquire a 400,000-square-foot office park at 700 E. Middlefield Road. At the time, David Schmidt, a senior vice president with Colliers International in San Jose, explained that the firm cemented its commitment to Silicon Valley. The price far exceed the average sale price for office space in Mountain View at roughly “two times the market,” he said.
The new owner is also looking on a long-term basis to bring out more the amenities that the campus can bring to the area. One example of this is that the 20 or so public bicycles that are used by the employees of Mozilla. These bikes are used either to ride to the nearby restaurants or coffee shops or take advantage of the nearby access to the Stevens Creek trail.
Rockwood bought a 100 percent interest in the property by itself. Being close to public transportation is one of the key factors that the company looks when purchasing assets in the San Francisco Bay Area.