Westcore Buys Vacant Industrial Property in Union City for ~$7.5MM

newspaper press

By Jon Peterson

San Diego-based Westcore Properties has acquired the 163,221 square foot 1550 Pacific Street industrial building in Union City, a former San Francisco Chronicle newspaper printing facility, for around $7.5 million, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

“This site was attractive as it’s hard to find a large parcel of land situated in an infill location like this one is,” says Neil Johnson, a managing director of acquisitions for Westcore. He would not say what the company paid for the property.

The buyer was represented in the transaction by Colliers International in its Oakland office. The brokers involved in the transaction were Kevin Hatcher, a vice president, and Senior Vice Presidents Mark Maguire and Greig Lagomarsino. The seller was San Francisco-based Hearst Communications. It sold the asset through the Oakland office of Cushman and Wakefield. The listing agents were John McManus, executive director, and Andrew Briner, associate director. Both brokerage firms declined to comment on the sales price of the property.

The building had been up for sale a couple of years ago with an asking price of $10.5 million, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

The industrial building has been vacant for the past couple of years. It’s known in the marketplace as the former Chronicle Printing Plant. The site totals 16.5 acres.

Westcore is has filed with the city of Union City for an environmental review of its plans for the project and is planning an extensive redevelopment project.“They have indicated to us that they are planning on a new four-building project. Two of the buildings would be 100,000 square feet each, and another two would be 50,000 square feet each,” says Carmela Campbell, planning manager for the city of Union City. She expects the project to take six months to a year from now until its approval.

The development could be done on a spec basis. Colliers is handling the leasing of the project going forward for Westcore. “I would think that this project will be targeting food users that are looking for a mixture of a place to distribute and produce its products on a regional basis. I think there is a great deal of pent up demand as there hasn’t been any new warehouse development in Union City for some time,” says Hatcher.

Westcore is familiar with the area in Union City. It bought the Central Plaza property in Union City in 2012. This 11-acre site sits on the adjacent parcel immediately to the south of 1550 Pacific. This is a redevelopment project that totals roughly 175,000 square feet. The delivery of both of these projects is planned for early fourth quarter of 2014.

Westcore has two regional offices in the Bay Area, according to its Web site. One is in San Francisco at 255 California Street and the other is in Sausalito at 2658 Bridgeway.

The 80-building warehouse market in Union City totals 7.2 million square feet, according to the Colliers International third quarter 2013 report. There has been a big drop in vacancy for the market. It went from 10 percent in the second quarter to 5.8 percent in the third quarter. A good part of this drop was taking 1550 Pacific off the market.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News