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January 08, 2014

Mitsui Fudosan Develops 202 KSF Office Property in San Francisco

Commercial Property Executive

Gail Kalinoski

Looking to take advantage of the hot tech market in San Francisco, Mitsui Fudosan America has formed a joint venture with SKS Partners to develop a 202,000-square-foot Class A, speculative office building at 270 Brannan St. near Second Street in SOMA's historic South Beach district.

The New York City-based real estate investment and development company said 270 Brannan St. is the first of several investments it is evaluating in the Bay area. MFA is the United States subsidiary of Japan's largest real estate company, Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. The global company has a portfolio of nearly $45 billion and is looking to add to its international holdings.

Construction of the seven-story building is expected to begin in the second quarter even if no preleasing has occurred. The developers expect it to be ready for tenants by the second quarter of 2015.

"The irreplaceable location, SKS' superior experience delivering buildings for this tenant type for over 20 years, the significant depth of technology-driven tenant demand, and our desire to make long-term investments in 24/7 seven cities like San Francisco make this a compelling opportunity for us," Yukio Yoshida, MFA's president & CEO, said in a prepared statement.

The seven-story building, to be designed by Pfau Long Architects of San Francisco, is aiming for LEED Platinum status. It will feature a landscaped atrium with a glass canopy and living green wall. The building will offer more than 50 bicycle parking spaces.

Currently the site of a parking lot and two-story office building, the project is being developed on the main thoroughfare in the SOMA area. Considered the heart of the city's growing technology industry, Google, eBay, and Microsoft are just some of the technology companies in the neighborhood. While some residents were concerned about losing approximately 84 parking spaces, the city's Planning Commission unanimously approved the project in October. The new building will only have 12 car parking spots, according to a document filed with the San Francisco Planning Department.

It will be located close to a similar spec project being developed by Kilroy Realty Corp. at 333 Brannan St. Kilroy is also pursuing LEED Platinum status for its six-story, 180,000-square-foot office building being designed by William McDonough + Partners. The building, which broke ground in late December, is also expected to be completed in 2015 and will include ground-floor retail.

San Francisco's office market rebounded in late 2013. It was primarily driven by the tech industry but professional service firms were also leasing throughout the city, according to Kidder Mathews' 3rd Quarter 2013 Real Estate Review. The report noted several large leasing deals in the third quarter led by Google expanding from 270,000 square feet to 350,000 square feet at Hills Plaza in the Rincon/South Beach submarket. Ebay also added space, nearly doubling its quarters at 199 Fremont St. to 140,000 square feet.

The Brannan Street project is not MFA's first investment in San Francisco. The firm developed 505 Montgomery St. in 1988 and the Clock Tower on 2nd Street in 1992 and acquired 180 Montgomery St., a 300,000-square-foot office building, in 2007. Its flagship U.S. property is 1251 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan, but it also made investments in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

SKS Partners, a San Francisco-based investor, advisor, manager and developer of commercial real estate properties, already has several projects in the area. 888 Brannan St. is a 425,000-square-foot building with about 300,000 square feet of office space. SKS Partners also owns 301/345 Brannan St., a six-story, 70,000-square-foot office building, and 475 Brannan St., a 245,000-square-foot office/life science building.

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