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Opening the Door on Value Add

San Francisco Office

Say hi to Ben Bullock, HFF's newest team member coming over from JLL. He joins as director and will focus on office investment deals in Northern California. He's had his hand in more than $3.4B in transaction volume over six years and he's working on a few listings in Silicon Valley and East Bay. We asked him about the dearth of true value-add opportunities in S.F., a woe cited earlier this week by PM Realty's Jim Proehl. It's also a wasteland for such rare deals when it comes to the core Silicon Valley markets of Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale, where buyers are being stretched to get true value-add returns.

Buyers are looking north for value-add opps in Marin and San Rafael, east to Oakland and are starting to consider Sacramento. One big trade that encapsulates a true value-add opp was the 1M SF California Center campus in Pleasanton that sold to Swift this year for $155/SF (above). In Silicon Valley buyers are focused on downtown San Jose and are starting to look at Milpitas and Fremont; value-add opps are also being spotted in Foster City and San Mateo. But with how tight the leasing markets are, there aren't nearly as many vacancy deals or ones with substantial leasing needs. Since the market is so good in core Silicon Valley, the owner is better off holding onto vacant properties and leasing up prior to a sale. Read more about big returns in Bisnow's National issue today.