Historic downtown Oakland office building is bought for nearly $30 million by East Bay realty firm

OAKLAND — A historic office building in the bustling Uptown
district of downtown Oakland has been bought by a veteran Bay Area
real estate firm in a deal that points to ongoing strength in the
core business district of the East Bay’s largest city.

Acting through an affiliate, Vertical Ventures has bought the
Wakefield Building, located at 426 17th St. between Broadway and
Franklin Street in downtown Oakland, according to Alameda County
property documents filed on Feb 5.

The eight-story building totals 57,000 square feet and is steps
away from the 19th Street BART station in Oakland, according to the
sellers in the deal, San Francisco-based Swig Co. and Chile-based
STARS Real Estate Investments.

“We saw the potential in this property to offer flexible, open
workspace to smaller occupiers wanting classic finishes with
abundant natural light in a wonderful historic building and
upgraded the property accordingly,” said Tomas Schoenberg,
executive vice president of investment with Swig Co.

The building is with a block of the numerous bars, cafes,
restaurants, shops, and music venues that epitomize the hip and
trendy Uptown neighborhood in downtown Oakland.

“This acquisition represents a very successful value-add
execution and a strategic asset turnaround story for our
investors,” said Oscar Boettiger, chief executive officer with
STARS.

Walnut Creek-based Vertical Ventures paid $29.9 million for the
Wakefield Building, the county property records show.

“We are proud to have been the careful stewards of this asset,
and to have improved its appeal to tenants,” Schoenberg said.

Brokers Seth Siegel, Ryan Venezia, and Ryan Hattersley of
Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm, arranged
the property transaction.

The new owners obtained a $26 million loan from VMC Lender to
help finance the purchase.

Vertical Ventures owns a number of Bay Area properties,
according to the company’s web site.

Among them, Dixon Landing Research Park in Fremont; The Point ar
Redwood Shores, a Redwood City tech campus; The Landing, a
two-building Oakland office project; Hellyer Oaks Technology Park
in south San Jose; Eastmont Town Center, the one-time Eastmont Mall
in Oakland that’s been converted to an office complex; and
Montague Business Center in north San Jose.

“We made a timely purchase of this asset and had the right
partner,” Boettiger, the STARS CEO, said.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Historic downtown Oakland office building is bought for nearly million by East Bay realty firm