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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fast-Growing Companies in 2012: Real Estate

By Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter

Basin Street Properties
300 E. Second St., Ste. 1300, Reno, NV 89501, 775-954-2900,

PETALUMA and SANTA ROSA — From its 1970s beginnings in the nascent cluster of Petaluma technology companies that became Telecom Valley, Basin Street Properties was a major developer of commercial space for North Bay technology and other companies in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Novato and Napa. After shifting its investments to markets outside the North Bay in much of the last decade, Basin Street is getting back into acquisition mode in the North Bay.

According to real estate sources, Basin Street is still actively pursuing North Bay commercial buildings to acquire.

Last year amid a massive two-year resetting of commercial property values in Petaluma, Basin Street resumed its role as an active North Bay acquirer of properties, purchasing from lenders some of the properties it had sold in a large 2005 portfolio sale. Two examples of properties re-acquired are roughly $21 million spent last year on eight buildings in Petaluma’s Redwood Business Park, including five buildings repurchased in March. One of those became the new headquarters campus of Enphase Energy earlier this year.

Fast-Growing Companies in 2012 Basin Street 'Down the Line' 2010
Basin Street 'Down the Line' 2010 (Photo credit: Guy Bisson)
In 2009, Basin Street entered joint venture ownership of the 116,000-square-foot Petaluma Marina Business Center.

Early last decade as the dot-com and telecom bubble burst, Basin Street diversified into retail mixed-use, multifamily and hospitality projects then into new markets in Sacramento and Reno, Nev.

Helping to fuel that shift was the 2005 sale of 1.43 million square feet of office and office-flex properties for $270 million. The company also found buyers for certain other North Bay properties, yet retained development properties in Petaluma and Santa Rosa.

Cornerstone Properties
1720 S. Amphlett Blvd., Ste. 110, San Mateo 94402, 650-574-2104,

PETALUMA and SANTA ROSA — Cornerstone Properties owns nearly 300,000 square feet of space in Petaluma and another 157,000 square feet in the industrial area near the entrance to Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa.

Last year, Cornerstone added two more buildings to the five of the former Cisco Systems campus acquired in late 2009. Among a string of leases in the tens of thousands of square feet in the past couple of years is the recent 25,000-square-foot lease to Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit for its new Petaluma headquarters, which is set to open next month. The string of relatively large leases includes EPIC, Lowepro, CrossCheck and First Cal.

Buying at relatively low market prices, upgrading the buildings and offering aggressive rents is a strategy Cornerstone as employed in its 1 million square-foot-plus portfolio in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

PB&J Acquisitions
1700 Soscol Ave., Ste. 1, Napa 94559, 415-221-9700

PETALUMA — In the largest amount of North Bay commercial space purchased since 2005, Napa-based PB&J Acquisitions, LLC, and New York-based Investcorp International Inc. in February purchased 842,000 square feet of office, industrial and retail space in 14 Petaluma and Rohnert Park buildings for $65 million.

Formed in March 2011 from a local group of real estate investors, PB&J Acquisitions members have been buying and selling Petaluma commercial properties for more than a decade, according managing member Bill Sumski, a San Francisco-based attorney. A year ago, PB&J teamed up with San Rafael-based MKD Investments, owner of The Great Petaluma Mill building, to buy 88,000 square feet of office space in three Redwood Business Park from Savoy Corp. for $5.1 million.

Industry sources say PB&J has been interested in other North Bay acquisitions, including large commercial buildings in Petaluma.

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