By Daniel Smith
Palo Alto-based Windy Hill Property Ventures scored a coup recently by pre-leasing it first ever ground-up development with two up-and-coming companies, though the building was barely half built.
“We were really fortunate,” said Mike Field, Windy Hill commercial director, about leasing the three-story, mixed-use building on a long vacant parcel in downtown San Mateo.[contextly_sidebar id=”bRCwZ6lyyyP0ypzPlPuTcP8To8Er8Epu”]Late last month, a long term lease was signed for about 3,300 ground floor square footage with indoor gym SoulCycle, shortly after one was inked with robo-advisor Motif Investing for slightly more than 21,000 square feet in office space.
Construction began immediately after city approval last July for the $16 million project on El Camino Real at 3rd Avenue, and Field said this week that the building is 70 percent complete and the tenants are expected to open for business in September.
The project is one of three planned for vacant parcels at the moribund intersection, all of which were previously gas stations.
“This corner had been vacant for a long time,” Field observed, pegging the inactivity as longer than a decade. In marketing the project to potential tenants, Field summed up the local interest as “lots of demand for office, not lots for retail.”
“Retail in downtown San Mateo is plentiful,” he observed. “We didn’t even have smaller retail interested.”
In that context Field called the leases “exciting,” adding, “We’re happy not to have to split the retail into smaller spaces.”
Windy Hill Property Ventures is a real estate investment fund founded by Jamie D’Allesandro and Tod Spieker in 2005, with its leadership expanded to a trio in 2013 when Field founded its commercial division.
The retail lease was brokered for Windy Hill by Mike Costa of Cushman & Wakefield Retail Services group while Patty McGuigan and Graham Woodall at Cornish & Carey handled the office listing. Motif Investing was represented by Marc Pope of Cushman & Wakefield and SoulCycle by Ben Lazzaresci of CBRE.
Field said Rancho Cordova-based Motif is seeking to expand its presence on the Peninsula, offering its distinct brand of theme-based exchange traded funds.
According to the company Web site (soul-cycle.com), San Mateo will be the sixth Bay Area location for SoulCycle, which pairs upbeat instructors, pounding rhythms and grueling workouts in darkened rooms. About half the 11-year-old company’s several score locations are in its home state of New York, with 17 California sites opened since arriving here in 2012, including three in San Francisco and one each in Palo Alto and Larkspur.