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The Second Building in the World to Achieve LEED Platinum v4 Certification is One Sansome Street in San Francisco

25 Sep 2014, 4:11 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

After the recent LEED Gold certification awarded to one of the city’s best known office towers, namely 75 Hawthorne (more on that here), another major asset has been awarded with a green certificate by the United States Green Building Council. One Sansome Street is now the first building in San Francisco to achieve LEED Platinum v4 certification, the highest level of certification made available by the Council. The building is also only the second property worldwide to be awarded with v4 certification.

Currently under the ownership of Barker Pacific Group, the office tower totaling 611,000 square feet of net leasable space was originally developed in 1983, according to real estate data provider PropertyShark.com. The property previously received LEED Gold-level certification from the USGBC in 2010. The owner continued to bring improvements to the property’s systems in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce the amount of waste produced by the building. The changes mean that the 41-story office building now has a solid waste diversion rate of more than 78 percent, with 75 percent being the minimum level required for exemplary performance, rentv.com writes. The building’s tenant roster includes Citigroup, The British Consulate, Lennar, iStar Financial, Konica Minolta and State of California – Department of Corporations.

In terms of building maintenance, sustainable products and materials are used, as per owner and property manager Barker Pacific Group’s policy. The company has an extensive history with environmentally friendly policies, being named Green Business of the Year by the Novato Chamber of Commerce in 2013. The building’s scorecard on the United States Green Building Council’s website shows that One Sansome Street was rated with 80/110 in the review process for its Plantinum-level certification.

Image courtesy of barkerpacific.com

75 Hawthorne Awarded LEED Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council

18 Sep 2014, 4:04 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

It was recently announced that 75 Hawthorne at Hawthorne Plaza was awarded Platinum level certification under the United States Green Building Council’s LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System. Owned John Hancock Life Insurance Company, a division of Manulife Financial Corporation in Canada and managed by previous owner and current property manager Hines, the asset was previously awarded Gold-level certification under the same system back in 2009. Hines sold the property to its current owner in 2011, but it stayed on to carry out property management duties at the asset.  

The 20-story Class A office asset offers up a total of 360,000 square feet of space and is valued by real estate data provider PropertyShark.com at around $148 million. 75 Hawthorne, along with 95 Hawthorne constitutes the Hawthorne Plaza complex which offers tenants an amenity package that includes childcare and a fitness center. Currently operating at an occupancy rate of around 75 percent, the asset has most of its space leased out to the U.S. Federal Government. Around 225,000 square feet of space are occupied by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region IX Headquarters.

The office tower’s eco-friendly profile has also been recognized by the EPA being a repeated earner of the ENERGY STAR label. 75 Hawthorne currently has a rating of 98 under the system, and has received the label every year since its acquisition.

Hines has had a great track record with sustainable assets, being one of the leaders in the U.S. Green Building Council’s programs. The company is involved in 201 projects currently rated by the USGBC, amounting to a total of more than 101 million square feet that have been certified, pre-certified or registered under the various LEED rating systems. The company was heavily involved in the creation of several rating systems such as the German Sustainable Building Council and the Russian Green Building Council, and is also active with a number of other national organizations throughout Europe and Asia.

Image courtesy of hines.com

650 California Street Acquired by Columbia Property Trust in $300 Million Deal

10 Sep 2014, 3:52 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

650 California Street was recently acquired by Columbia Property Trust Inc. in a deal completed with owners Tishman Speyer and Prudential Real Estate Investors. The buyer paid a fee of $309 million for the iconic Class A office tower located in San Francisco’s coveted Financial District.

In order to complete the deal, the buyer, Columbia Property Trust, took out a $130 million loan bearing interest at 3.6 percent and maturing July 2019. The cash component of the transaction, totaling $179 million, was handled through borrowings under the company’s unsecured credit facility and cash on hand.

The 33-story office asset at 650 California Street offers a total of 478,392 square feet of space. Located in the city’s Financial District, the building was 88 percent under contract at the time of the sale. The asset is reportedly expected to have an operating income of around $11 million during the first year. The property is LEED Gold-certified by the US Green Building Council. During the past two years, the former owner rolled out a $14.2 million renovation process at 650 California. The process included adding an onsite parking garage and an extensive lobby renovation to round out the building’s amenity package including the fitness center, bicycle parking, and a conference facility.

The owner’s Western Region team will henceforth handle asset management duties as well as leasing at the property. In order to accommodate the portfolio expansion, Columbia Property Trust recently added Michael Schmidt to its local team with an experienced professional in asset management in major West Coast markets. Schmidt will handle the company’s West Coast assets, including this latest acquisition.

 Image courtesy of tishmanspeyer.com

KB Homes Acquires Land in Sunnyvale, Unveils Latest Residential Project in the Area

4 Sep 2014, 5:20 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Part of an increasingly aggressive development policy in The Bay Area, KB Homes recently announced the purchase of a plot of land in Sunnyvale and its development strategy for the property. The home builder has announced that the site will house a new housing community called Solaire. The company has rolled out its plans for its new location at the heart of Silicon Valley where the entity has planned to build 47 homes that would be added to the area’s housing stock.

Solaire will feature contemporary styled, single-story, stacked flat condominium homes. The developer is currently working on model home development, and a grand opening is already scheduled for this fall. The choice of Sunnyvale as the latest KB Home target is obvious, given the city’s location in the bustling Silicon Valley. The city offers some of the best employment options in the world, with world-famous businesses such as Google, Cisco, Yahoo!, Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Electric Systems and others having a substantial presence in the area.

The lot on which the Solaire community will be developed offers great access to the 101, Interstate 280, 237 and 85. Other transportation options nearby include the Santa Clara Transportation Authority and the Caltrain commuter rail, with the latter having two different stops in the city.

Solaire is the latest in a number of ventures started by KB Homes in the area. The company has also recently acquired land for a property set for 500 single-family homes at Patterson Ranch in Fremont, and completed other land deals for its 72 Townsend and Bush Street luxury development projects. KB Homes is currently open for new home sales at 14 different locations in the Bay Area.

Image courtesy of kbhome.com

555 Montgomery Street Property Management Contract Awarded to Kennedy Wilson

20 Aug 2014, 11:02 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Kennedy Wilson (KW) is the new property manager of a San Francisco office high-rise after the company was awarded the contract for 555 Montgomery Street. KW will now handle property management duties at the property on behalf of owner East West Bank, a Pasadena-based financial entity.

The 18-story office building was originally developed in 1984 and features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer great views of the area. The property has a total of 261,839 square feet of space that are divided into a number of individual offices, according to real estate data website PropertyShark.com. These offices range in size between 1,200 square feet and 14,000 square feet, being able to cater to variety of needs. 555 Montgomery Street’s current tenant roster includes well-known financial services firms, legal services and market research firms such as The Guardian Life Insurance Co., The New York Times, US Capital Partners LLC, DHC USA, Inc. and Taipei Economic & Cultural Office. The building’s owner, East West Bank, also maintains a presence at the property. Currently valued at around $53 million, the property is located on a 0.37 acre site and features 24-hour security service.

555 Montgomery Street is located in the city’s booming financial district, and is a coveted office asset. Senior Managing Director Donna Clark says that “due to the location of 555 – near major business districts as well as the wharf among other local attractions – there is no doubt that this will be the building of choice for major companies seeking to expand business practices in a prime environment.”

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