- Identify and purchase under valued real estate at below replacement cost.
- Transform and manage real estate into income producing assets for appreciation.
- Achieve the highest return for investors – both short and long term.
- Emphasis on both short and long term profits.
- Primary investment in mixed-use multi-family and senior housing.
- Use of options to entitle large parcels of land.
San Francisco Business Times
Deal near for two Oakland Foods Co. locations
Oakland’s retail dreams are finally starting to come true. After years of unsuccessfully reaching out to retailers and developers, the city’s redevelopment agency is negotiating several deals, including one with Kroger Co.-owned Foods Co. to open two stores in East Oakland — a highly underserved area.
In addition, the redevelopment agency selected developer Sunfield Inc. to build mixed-use retail and commercial projects on two sites that were among 10 for which the agency solicited development proposals last fall. Of the 10 properties, six attracted proposals. The city decided to pursue five: one from Foods Co., two from Sunfield and two others which are still in early negotiations. “Oakland is proving itself able to attract private investment and development,” said Gregory Hunter, Oakland’s redevelopment director.
For the last few years, the redevelopment agency has bought up numerous parcels and is now vetting developers for many of those sites. The city is finalizing its agreements with the developers and will later sell the land to them at market rate. The Foods Co. bid is for a four-acre site at the corner of 66th Avenue and San Leandro Street, a city-owned property near the Oakland Coliseum, where it plans to build a 72,000-square-foot store. That store alone is projected to add $50,000 in sales tax revenue and more than 100 jobs. In addition to the redevelopment agency site, the grocer also plans to open a similar-sized store in the Foothill Square Shopping Center, an aging complex that developer Jay-Phares Corp. plans to revamp with a Foods Co. store as the anchor.
“Oakland is truly one of the most underserved communities anywhere, certainly in California and the Bay Area,” said John Jay, of Jay-Phares. “Kroger properly perceives there’s an opportunity for high-volume success.” Kroger is one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains, with more than 2,469 locations in 31 states. It operates stores under several banners including Kroger, Ralph’s Fred Meyer, QFC, Foods Co. and Food 4 Less. Foods Co. already has some Bay Area locations in San Francisco, Richmond and Redwood City and expects the Oakland stores to open within two years. Hunter said the city began working with Kroger about two years ago to bring in Foods Co. — an opportunity for Oakland, which has struggled to draw grocery stores.
Three years ago, Hunter sent representatives from the redevelopment agency to attend an International Council of Shopping Centers conference and approach every grocer that attended. None of them showed interest in coming to Oakland. The city has seen specialty chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s set up shop in recent years, but Oakland also wants everyday, full-service grocery stores in areas like East Oakland. Studies show that Oakland’s population of 420,000 people leaks more than a $1 billion per year in sales. With Foods Co., the challenge was to find sites. The chain hired brokerage John Cumbelich and Associates and has decided on the two East Oakland sites, but is looking for more. “Had we not had the land available for the grocer to negotiate, it would have prolonged the process,” Hunter said. “At least in this scenario, we helped expedite grocery service to East Oakland.” Oakland’s bid to attract developers caught the attention of Sunfield Development, based in Orinda, that is negotiating with the city on two parcels.
“I always thought Oakland offers some of the best development opportunities,” said Sid Afshar, head of Sunfield. The firm is now working on proposals for two projects, which could be complete within two years. The first project is an estimated $21 million, mixed-use entertainment center at 1800 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland’s Uptown district. The project will include 73,460 of retail space and a 301-space parking garage. The developer wants to bring in tenants such as a bowling alley, sports bar or small grocery store to serve the surrounding neighborhood. The project sits next to other major developments including the recently remodeled Fox Theater and Forest City’s Uptown Apartments, a 665-unit project. “(Sunfield’s project) is part of a much larger strategy in the city,” said Morten Jensen, a partner with JRDV Architects, the firm that designed Sunfield’s Uptown project.
Traditional retail is on the decline, he said, but entertainment-based retail, such as what’s happening in Uptown, is still alive. Numerous bars and restaurants have opened in the area, creating a huge need for more parking. The second project, at Foothill Boulevard and Seminary Avenue in East Oakland, will include 33,000 square feet of retail with tenants such as a drug store and a small grocery. The estimated cost for that project is $10 million. “The vision in the City of Oakland, the leadership in assembling these parcels — I just don’t see anyone else doing that,” Afshar said. “We love their vision and their direction. That made a big difference.”Read more: Entertainment industry fuels neighborhood life | San Francisco Business Times
For more information, visit www.sunfielddevelopment.com.