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OAKLAND, CA-The developers of Oakland’s recently restored Rotunda Building, an historic landmark built in 1913, will be honored tonight for their efforts by the Oakland Heritage Alliance and the city of Oakland.

The Rotunda Partners took on the construction challenge in 1999, after a renovation project started by Myron Zimmerman failed in the 1980′s due to lack of funding. The bank sold the property to the city of Oakland, which entered a joint investment with the Rotunda Partners

The 88-year-old, 350,000 sf property, has been vacant for almost two decades. The former department store was dormant as the first renovation effort took place, and then was severely damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

The development cost was about $40 million, with $12 million from the city’s redevelopment agency. The city considered the renovation to be critical in building Oakland’s commercial market, an assumption that turned out to be true.

The entire 210,000 sf of office space is leased at rates averaging about $35 per sf, annually. Its main tenants include Synergy, Inc., Scientific Learning and Degenkolb Engineers. The retail space is nearly fully leased, also, with tenants such as Men’s Wearhouse and Bistro Burger.

Tonight, the developer, Phil Tagami, will be honored with an award from the Oakland Heritage Alliance and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown for the restoration.

“The Rotunda Partners rebuilt the Rotunda Building in accordance with the highest standards of historical preservation, thereby enhancing the vitality of downtown Oakland.”

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