Tenant Growth Robust in San Francisco Bay Area’s North I-680 Market

Walnut Creek, Calif. (June, 2015) —Newmark Cornish & Carey’s Walnut Creek, Calif. office notes significant tenant activity along the North I-680 Corridor market of San Francisco’s East Bay in the first half of 2015. Lease activity was largely generated by companies growing in their local, established markets, and was also fueled by tenant in-migration to value markets.

“Newmark Cornish & Carey is proud to have represented the lion’s share of tenants taking space in 2015, and also appreciates continued loyalty among the East Bay’s finest landlords,” said Breck Lutz, a Newmark Cornish & Carey executive managing director. “The fact that corporations are growing and remaining along the I-680 Corridor indicates a very healthy and vibrant market. Local growth coupled with the in-migration of firms from outside markets has created significant market movement and we anticipate this market reaching historical highs in all segments in the very near future.”

Some of 2015’s most notable transactions include substantial lease commitments by:

  • AssetMark, Inc. – Originally moving to two floors at 1655 Grant Street in Concord, Calif. in the Concord BART submarket from Pleasant Hill, Calif. in 2014, the investment and consulting firm recently leased an additional floor and will now occupy approximately 73,000 square feet at Swift Plaza. Newmark Cornish & Carey agents represented both parties in the transaction; Mark McNally represented AssetMark and Breck Lutz and Alex Grell represented landlord Swift Real Estate Partners.
  • Yapstone –Originally located in San Francisco, Yapstone engaged Newmark Cornish & Carey to consolidate its operations into one building on contiguous floors and in 2014 the leading online payment service provider committed to subleasing approximately 35,000 square feet at 2121 North California Boulevard in Walnut Creek, Calif. In April of 2015 Yapstone accommodated its growth by expanding into a full floor, leasing approximately 25,000 additional square feet for a total of 60,000 square feet at the property. Newmark Cornish & Carey agents represented both parties in the transaction; Mr. Grell represented Yapstone and Mr. Lutz represented the landlord, Tishman Speyer.
  • Amtrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFSI) – Relocating from San Francisco, Amtrust leased one floor at 1655 Grant Street in Concord in 2014. In March of 2015 the insurance firm took an additional floor, leasing a total of approximately 50,000 square feet at Swift Plaza. Newmark Cornish & Carey agents represented both parties in the transaction; Tom Fehr represented Amtrust, and Mr. Lutz and Mr. Grell represented landlord Swift Properties.
  • Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) – The leading producer of lawn, garden and pet supplies renewed its approximately 41,000-square-foot lease at 1340 Treat Boulevard in Walnut Creek in the Pleasant Hill BART submarket in March of 2015. Mr. Fehr and Mr. Grell represented Central Garden & Pet Company.
  •  Altair Global – In June of 2015, the mobility company expanded into approximately 14,000 square feet at 201 North Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Mr. Fehr and Mr. Grell represented both Altair Global and landlord Prometheus in the lease.
  •  P.K. Kinder Co. – Kinder’s Meats and BBQ relocated from the Downtown Walnut Creek submarket and expanded into approximately 14,000 square feet at 1350 Treat Boulevard in Walnut Creek in the Pleasant Hill BART submarket in February of 2015. Knute Bucklew of Newmark Cornish & Carey represented P.K. Kinder Co.
  • Keller Williams Realty – The residential real estate firm renewed its approximately 10,000-square-foot lease at 100 Pringle Avenue in Walnut Creek in April of 2015. Mr. Grell represented Keller Williams.

“The organic growth in the North I-680 corridor market coupled with in-migration trends indicates sustained leasing velocity for 2015 and beyond,” said Mr. Grell, a Newmark Cornish & Carey senior managing director. “While the primary submarkets of Downtown Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek BART and Pleasant Hill BART have enjoyed increased rents and lowered vacancy rates for quite some time, this growth is now significantly affecting some of the secondary markets. Notably, the vacancy in Concord was 20.4 percent at the start of the year, and is now 17.8 percent.”

The overall vacancy rate in the I-680 Corridor market is currently 15.39 percent, down from 16.73 percent at the start of 2015.

About Newmark Cornish & Carey
A dominant regional real estate force since 1935, Newmark Cornish & Carey has an expansive reach as part of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Regionally, Newmark Cornish & Carey has more than 280 agents in 13 strategically located offices throughout Northern California, creating a powerful platform from which to deliver superior services locally, while upholding its core values of integrity and knowledge. For further information, visit www.newmarkccarey.com.

About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,000 professionals operate from more than 330 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.

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