SAN FRANCISCO—Those who follow @GlobeStcom on Twitter and @GlobeStLIVE may have seen a post teasing the announcement, but GlobeSt.com has learned that Bathesda, MD-based ASB Real Estate Investments has purchased 989 Market St., a 111,497-square-foot class A office building, located between 5th and 6th Streets. Harbert Management Corp. was the seller of the Mid-Market property, which ASB’s Allegiance Real Estate Fund, a $3.5 billion core vehicle, paid $61.3 million for.
As GlobeSt.com previously reported, the Mid-Market region is the hottest thing in San Francisco at the moment, adjacent to Union Square. Robert Bellinger, president and CEO of ASB Real Estate Investments, notes that “Led by Twitter, Spotify, Yammer and Intuit, new and expanding technology companies have made the Mid-Market District a location of choice, leading to a market renaissance, from which our investors can take advantage. The property’s proximity to Union Square and the extension of premier retailing along Market Street also translates to great long-term fundamentals for the retail space.”
As GlobeSt.com previously reported, in 2013, roughly 800,000 square feet was occupied by tech companies either migrating (or expanding) from Silicon Valley to San Francisco. Mid-Market has seen an increase in activity: Twitter leads the charge with its headquarter move in early 2013 and is looking to expand into 1 Tenth (337,909 square feet) come 2014, as GlobeSt.com reported. As the technology sector continues to grow, look for Mid-Market to become the new tech hot spot, says brokerage firm Avison Young.
The particular building in this deal is a six-story building’s office space is 94% leased to Zendesk, the cloud-based help desk provider, and Zoosk, the social dating service. The rent roll is indicative of the influx of tech-oriented, creative tenants propelling a leasing surge in the submarket, which has benefitted from San Francisco’s strong demand fundamentals, says ASB. “The property’s architectural features—including 10-to-15 foot exposed ceilings and flexible 17,000-square-foot-floor plans—provide creative build-out solutions increasingly sought by tenants,” says ASB. “The property also features 13,000 square feet of prime retail space on Market Street currently leased to Blick Art Materials, one of the nation’s largest and oldest art suppliers.”
The Market Street location is near all forms of mass transportation—just blocks from the Powell Street and Civic Center BART subway stations and within a two-block radius of 15 different bus and transit lines. In 2017, the completion of the 4th Street thoroughfare will add a nearby access point to Caltrain.
ASB Real Estate Investments currently manages four other investments in San Francisco: the retail space at 200 Powell Street; the 795 Folsom office building; 135 Mississippi St., an office building; and apartments at 333 Fremont St. An ASB land holding at 350 Bush/500 Pine was sold in April.
And it isn’t just office buildings that ASB is investing in. As GlobeSt.com just previously reported, a joint venture between ASB Real Estate Investments and Blatteis & Schnur acquired five warehouse properties on Palmetto and Mateo Streets in the arts district of Downtown Los Angeles for $32.5 million. The firm plans to invest an additional $30 million, for a total investment of $62.5 million, to create a 125,000-square-foot retail property and a 430-stall parking structure.
Sales are also part of ASB’s strategy. In April, the firm sold four properties for $195 million, as GlobeSt.com reported. The four properties, around the nation, were made on behalf of the ASB Allegiance Real Estate Fund, and are part of its plan to trim non-core assets from its portfolio in the wake of last year’s $1 billion acquisition spree.