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Ellie Kravets' Blog

By Ellie Kravets, Realtor, ABR | Agent in San Francisco, CA

Asian investor pounces on Candlestick Point parcel

A Candlestick Point property entitled for 500 housing units has been acquired by American Pacific International Capital, an Oregon-based real estate firm company that acquires properties on behalf of Asian investors.

APIC which already owns five hotels in San Francisco, has bought 5 Thomas Mellon Circle, a 4.69-acre waterfront site just to the south of the Candlestick Cove townhouses that are under construction.

APIC owns three hotels in the SoMa and Union Square areas: Carriage Inn at 140 7th St., the Good Hotel at 112 7th St., Best Western Americana at 121 7th St. The group also owns the Metropolis at 25 Mason St. and the Hotel Vertigo at 940 Sutter St. APIC is also working on developing condos on two of its surface parking lots, one next to the Metropolis and one adjacent to the Good Hotel.

The waterfront site is part of the Executive Park/Candlestick Point Project Area, a 71-acre swath of waterfront land at the southeastern border of San Francisco. The area was originally conceived as a suburban office park but over the past several years has been subject to a city-sponsored general plan amendment to provide for the development of some 2,800 residential units. The northern parcel will consist of approximately 85,800 square feet and has been approved for 171 units. The southern parcel, consisting of 118,385 square feet, has been approved for 329 units.

David Wientjes, Clayton Jew, and Skip Whitney of Kidder Matthews represented the buyer. James Bennett and Tim Mason, also of Kidder Matthews, represented the seller, George Yerby.

Victoria Yu, director of project development for APIC, said the company has shifted its focus from the Pacific Northwest to the Bay Area.

“Everybody likes San Francisco these days — it’s vibrant, diverse, and beautiful,” she said. “San Francisco is such an internationally acclaimed destination. In Asia San Francisco enjoys a special reputation everywhere you go.”

She thinks Candlestick Point will be a different place once development gets going.

“Right now there is not much out there, but it’s a beautiful place right by the Bay,” she said. “We think in five years time the place will be very attractive residential location.”

She said it would take six months to do the design review and another six months to complete construction documents.

“We would like to start construction as soon as we can,” she said. “The end of next year would be a good goal, though maybe optimistic.”

Altogether 13 new residential buildings will replace Executive Park, a struggling 1970s office park that was built to attract back-office users. Eight of the building sites, where 1,100 units will be built, are owned by Universal Paragon Corp.; the remaining land, slated for some 500 units, is now owned APIC.

The property is a 10-minute walk to both the Bayshore Caltrain station and the T-Third line.

George Yerby spent nearly 40 years and millions of dollars trying to develop the forgotten corner of San Francisco. In 2011 he said he stuck with the project because of neighborhood activists like Espinoza Jackson, who have pushed for investment into the under-served area.

“It’s been a huge risk for me. I am a one-man band out here,” said Yerby. “But we have been able to survive with great support from the community. Unlike most projects in San Francisco, we don’t have a lot of neighbors pounding on us. People want to see this built out.”

Article by J.K. Dineen
Reporter- San Francisco Business Times  

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