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SAN RAMON, CA-A locally based real estate company is converting an office building here into this city’s first commercial condominium. The Deerwood Corp. is looking to sell off in small pieces a three-story 73,000-sf office building that it developed at 111 Deerwood Rd. in 1985.

Approximately half of the recently renovated building is currently for sale at prices ranging from $325 to $400 per sf. Unit sizes range from 496 sf to 3,000 sf. The rest of the building will go to market as in-place leases roll over the next four years.

Jeff Morgenstern, Marcy Place and Dan Watson of Cornish & Carey Commercial’s Pleasanton office began marketing the property in February. Morgenstern tells GlobeSt.com that two units are close to being under contract and that several more units are in negotiation.

In explaining the strategy, Deerwood Corp.’s founder and CEO Tom Porter says office ownership allows small business owners to benefit from tax advantages, value appreciation, and the flexibility to divest their space on their timetable. Additionally, he says that with the assistance of SBA financing, an owner-user can benefit from low down payments and attractive financing terms.

“The draw for us to convert this property is the fact that there nothing like it in this market, and the fact that it has been successful in other East Bay markets,” Deerwood VP Chris Porter tells GlobeSt.com. “The feedback has been great from the city level all the way down to the user.”

In the past year, three other East Bay properties have been converted to commercial condominiums, including Venture Commerce Center in Dublin, Birch Lakes in Pleasanton and Montevina in Livermore . Morgenstern says all have been well received by small business owners.

“If you own a mature small business that’s been in the same amount of space for a long time and you expect to be in business for a long time to come, buying makes a heck of a lot of sense,” Morgenstern says. “I can’t tell you how many small business owners over the years have said to me ‘I should have bought.’”

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