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San Francisco Business Times

January 11, 2013

Obvious grabs 760 Market St. space

By J.K. Dineen and Blanca Torres

Will San Francisco’s technology companies continue to grab big blocks of space in 2013?

The answer is Obvious.

Actually, it was Obvious, a collection of technology companies overseen by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and longtime collaborator Evan Williams, that inked the first big tech lease of 2013, a 75,000-square-foot commitment in the Phelan Building at 760 Market St.

Obvious, currently housed in about 20,000 square feet at 800 Market St., will occupy floors seven, eight and nine. With this transaction, 760 Market St. is now 100 percent occupied, although about 50,000 square feet is coming back onto the market later this year.

Bill Benton, Mike Brown and Roman Adler of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank represented Thor Equities, the building owner. Obvious was repped by Jenny Haeg of Custom Spaces Real Estate.

But Obvious was not the only technology company that landed this week. Hudson Pacific Properties said it signed a full-building deal with GitHub at 275 Brannan St., a 55,000-square-foot transaction. Brown and Adler represented the tenant in that lease, while Mike McCarthy and Mike Monroe of Colliers International handled negotiations for the landlord.

The pair of deals comes on the heels of a third quarter that saw over 1.2 million square feet of technology deals in San Francisco, with Salesforce responsible for about 750,000 square feet of that. Other hefty commitments came from DocuSign, SquareTrade, Meraki, Square and Splunk.

For the year, San Francisco logged 1.3 million square feet of positive net absorption, meaning that tenants took 1.3 million square feet more than they gave up, according to CBRE. Average Class A rents have now jumped to $51.96, up from $35.15 in the first quarter of 2011. Vacancy now stands at 9.5 percent in the greater downtown.

While the Bay Area has been at the top of the list of every international real estate investor for more than a year, the Jones Lang LaSalle research team came up with perhaps the most startling statistic: Northern California markets accounted for more that 22.9 percent of the total net absorption last year among major markets within the United States.

Satellite merger

Satellite Housing and Satellite Housing and Affordable Housing Associates are now one entity: Satellite Affordable Housing Associates.

The combined firm operates 58 properties with 19 more in development and 170 employees.

Susan Friedland, former executive director of Satellite, will lead the new Berkeley-based entity.

In a statement, the firms said, “We strongly believe that the combination of two healthy, well-respected organizations with similar missions, cultures and values creates a more impactful nonprofit best suited to thrive in the future.”

Shea, TRI Pointe, Nueva School build in Bay Meadows

The fleet of backhoes and cranes populating Bay Meadows in San Mateo should expand hugely by spring.

With Shea Homes and TRI Pointe Homes at work building the first 156 housing units on the site of the former horse racing track, the independent Nueva School is gearing up to start work on a $70 million high school campus. The school, which is being designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy, will sit on 2.76 acres near the northeast corner of the Bay Meadows development. The school will include classroom space, labs, a 425-seat theater, a gymnasium and an underground parking garage. Devcon is the contractor.

The San Mateo City Planning Commission approved the development in December. The school will pay for some of the new campus with $40 million in tax-exempt bond financing through the California Municipal Finance Authority.

“This expansion is another step in fulfilling the strategic plan approved by The Nueva School Board of Trustees in October 2011,’’ said Diane Rosenberg, executive director of The Nueva School.

Trident picks up 7.2 acres

After a decade of trying to score entitlements for 89 homes, Trident Partners finally closed on 7.2 acres at 1551 Buena Vista Ave. in Alameda.

The city council recently approved 52 single-family homes and a 37-unit condo building, paving the way for Trident to buy the land, which currently houses a 138,000-square-foot warehouse.

Trident plans to tear down the warehouse later this year. The warehouse has been occupied by the same tenant for 29 years.

The move strikes a tone reminiscent of industrial space giving way to housing, but Alameda is in dire need of adding housing to meet state growth requirements.

Jon Cook, a broker with Townsend Commercial Real Estate, represented both the buyer and the seller, Peter Wang.

Read the original story here.