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Co-Working Craziness and a Whole Lot of Action Downtown!

By Jason Hughes

Emerald Plaza

The office portion of Emerald Plaza (402 West Broadway) is in escrow to Kearny Real Estate Company. Kearny just went non-refundable – and fully expects to finalize the purchase in the upcoming weeks. In 2014, Kearny bought the Union Bank Building (530 B Street) from Union Bank – and underwent a $15 million remodel and then sold the high-rise to Bosa Development this past February. They are a very engaged and responsive landlord (one of the better ones!) and their purchase of Emerald Plaza will be good for downtown tenants (especially for tenants of the building).

550 Corporate Center

After being owned by Alaska State Pension Fund since 2001, it is now in the process of being sold with some of the area’s premier landlords circling it for acquisition. This will likely be one of the higher priced downtown sales – as it has always been considered one of the top buildings in downtown – and consequently, it has remained fairly well-leased since development in 1990.

7th & Market

I’ve written about this project for over a year – and it recently received unanimous approval from City Council to proceed. Cisterra is building a true mixed-use block with apartments, a Ritz Carlton hotel, Ritz Residences (condos for sale) and a 150,000 SF office tower (directly across the street from the new Sempra Energy HQ building in East Village). If there is any doubt about the developer, Cisterra built DiamondView Tower in the outfield of Petco Park – which is the first building in downtown to have a waitlist with rents starting at $5/SF rent! The office tower for this new project will be the first high-rise to be built in downtown in more than 12 years (by the time it opens) – and will likely be fully pre-leased prior to completion.

Co-Working Craziness!

I recently represented WeWork for 90,000 SF at 600 B; it will be a great option for many – but I get asked all the time about other co-working alternatives – and I’ll start with: “there are tons of them!” A few of the larger, more notable options include: DowntownWorks at 550 West B Street which is the old Miller Boyco Bell Building – and more recently the Troutman Sanders Building; DeskHub in both Little Italy (2159 India) and soon in East Village; Union Cowork at 704 J Street; and soon another national player, Level Office which just purchased the six-story, 60,000 square foot 1111 Sixth Avenue where they will be converting it to alas another co-working environment. And there’s more competition than that! I’m not sure how all of these co-working locations can compete – so undoubtedly there will be failures and consolidations – but until then, it should make for exciting options for those wanting to rent on a desk-by-desk shared environment basis!

Jason Hughes is chairman, CEO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle. A pioneer in the field of tenant representation, Jason has exclusively represented tenants and buyers for more than 25 years. He writes about topics in commercial real estate from a tenant’s perspective on his blog, Downtown Dirt. Contact Jason at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT or jason@hughesmarino.com to learn more.



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