ALAMEDA, CA-Venture Corp. has broken ground here for a 41,000-sf commercial condominium building within the Waterfront at Harbor Bay Business Park. The project, called venture Commerce Center, will have 15 privately owned office and “office/flex” spaces. The commercial condos will be available for ownership and occupancy by January 2005. The project is being developed on 3.4 acres within the Waterfront at Harbor Bay Business Park, a 75-acre development by SRM Associates of Alameda and Pacific Coast Capital Partners of San Francisco. The duo formed a joint venture in 2003 to market and develop the land, which is part of a 300-acre park that includes Lucent Technologies Inc.’s former six-building campus. Venture Corp. touts itself as the largest builder of commercial condominiums in California. Other Venture developments are located in Morgan Hill, San Jose, Napa, Fremont, Newark, South San Jose, Fairfield and Sacramento. Venture Corp. president Robert Eves says that given today’s interest rates, it is less expensive to own a property than to lease it. “The market for office condominiums is very strong,” he says. “…we expect that the entire development will be sold out before we complete construction.”Joe Ernst, a project manager with SRM, says a key factor in the land sale to Venture Corp. was the fact that all necessary entitlements for the project are already in place. Other factors include improved access and competitive land prices.Previously accessed by a single-lane road that flooded in the winter, the property is now right on the Ron Cowan Parkway, also known as the cross-airport road, which opened in March. It provides faster access to Interstate 880 and Oakland International Airport. As well, land prices are $9 to $12.50 per sf for the waterfront property, while industrial property in West Oakland generally starts at $12 per sf.Including Venture Corp.’s project, there is 100,000 sf under development at the Waterfront at Harbor Bay Business Park. All told, the park has 75 acres of fully entitled land for new constructionand 380,000 sf of existing office, R&D and light manufacturing and warehouse space. About 10 of the 75 acres of land has been sold and about 40% of the built space has been leased.The Waterfront at Harbor Bay is part of the master-planned community of Harbor Bay Isle within Alameda, which includes about 3,000 homes, a fitness and tennis facility, the Harbor Bay Landing shopping center and high-speed ferry service to San Francisco.

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