SAN RAFAEL, CA-The SOMA Living store has leased 5,000-sf of ground-level floor space in San Rafael for its next store. Scheduled to open July 1, the store will be one of 14 in the Bay Area and among 400 nationwide that the company plans to open and operate during the next decade.

Founded in 1998 by Karl Spoke while he was at Pacific Union Real Estate Group, SOMA Living is designed to be a one-stop shop for researching, buying, remodeling, renovating, maintaining and accessorizing a home. Spoke left his position with Pacific Union Real Estate Group last summer. A month after Spoke left the company, GMAC Real Estate Group, which purchased Pacific Union, sunk $20 million in second-round funding to open 13 more stores nationwide.

Currently, the SOMA Living company has a location at Bryant Street and the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. It has plans to open stores in Walnut Creek, Dublin, Fremont, Santa Clara and a second location in the city. Customers walk in, research the housing market on a computer and print out the results to take with them; browse samples and online catalogs in the design center; analyze different loan options and get various referrals to architectures, interior designers and contractors.

Being buyer-focused, SOMA Living neither lists homes for sale nor represents sellers of existing homes, new homes or homes under construction. The store does assist in for sale-by-owner transactions. Buyers’ agents – which can potentially earn $60,000 to $75,000 annually, work set hours and receive benefits – staff the sales floor, where they wait for customers to approach them with queries. At the point of purchase, an in-house negotiator takes over for the salesperson to negotiate and close the deal.

Deborah Perry and Jim McMasters of Colliers International in Walnut Creek represented SOMA Living in the San Rafael lease. Pat Burke of Keegan & CoppinoONCOR International represented the owner of the Fourth Street location in San Rafael.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper


GlobeSt. NET LEASE Fall 2023Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.