October 21, 2015 – Contra Costa Times, By Peter Hegarty
ALAMEDA – Demand for commercial rental properties will likely increase in Alameda, a spinoff from the Bay Area’s real estate boom that has tenants scrambling for spots that are cheaper than what’s available in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
“This rising tide is lifting all boats and I think it’s going to lift all types of commercial assets in Alameda,” said Ted Anderson of brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, the city’s leasing agent for Alameda Point.
Among the tenants already at Alameda Point are Google and Wrightspeed, the company created by Tesla Motors co-founder Ian Wright that produces technology to make commercial trucks greener and more energy efficient.
And while the area’s cavernous warehouses and aircraft hangers were built for industrial use when it was the Alameda Naval Air Station, its proximity to San Francisco and Oakland will likely continue to make it attractive for artisans or tech companies, Anderson told the City Council on Tuesday.
Commercial real estate on Bay Farm Island and at Marina Village also will benefit from the region’s current hot market, he said.
Available places for business to rent at Alameda Point, however, are becoming fewer, said Nanette Mocanu, the assistant director of the city’s community development department.
Many spots are taken and the city is trying to market others as part of specific commercial zones, such as bringing food vendors to what’s known as Spirits Alley, the strip on Monarch Street that includes St. George’s Spirits, Faction Brewing Company, Hangar 1 Vodka and Rock Wall Wine Company, Mocanu said.
“We are limited,” she said. “We have reached our capacity pretty much.”
As a result, the city plans to market buildings that have been vacant a long time and that require significant investment, such as the former Bachelor’s Enlisted Quarters, and offer “innovative leasable spaces,” such as portables on vacant land, Mocanu said.
The effort also includes making places available that require minimum investment, such as restoring electricity to some buildings.
The city’s overall leasing strategy includes securing tenants that will fit with the long-term plans for the former base, such as the mix of housing, retail and commercial space proposed for 68 acres near the Seaplane Lagoon, and the neighboring 82 acres known as the Enterprise District that is being geared toward commercial developers.
“I think our revenue will stay very steady because we are going to be able to negotiate strong leases,” Mocanu said.
The council took no formal action after getting the update on leasing and commercial properties at Alameda Point.
Since 2013, when Cushman & Wakefield became the city’s leasing agent, tenants that have taken out leases at the former Navy base include Brix Beverage and Natal Energy, as well as Universal Studios for the film, “Steve Jobs.”
The city is currently negotiating with a cider maker interested in re-purposing former Quonset huts, Mocanu said.
PM Realty Group manages Alameda Point properties on the city’s behalf.
The city’s leasing program for the area consists of 1.8 million square feet of commercial space for about 60 businesses and 1,000 employees. There is also 68 market-rate residential units. Alameda Point provides the city with $11 million in lease revenue annually.
The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.