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L.A. developer pays $20M for Novato building

Los Angeles-based real estate developer Barker Pacific Group has purchased Rowland Plaza in Novato for $20 million, one of the Bay Area's only non-distressed office property sales in the past year.

Rockwood Capital LLC, a real estate investment company, is an equity partner in the acquisition. The property will be managed by BPG and is 78 percent leased: 75 percent of the office space and 100 percent of the retail space is occupied. Wells Fargo financed the purchase.

Rowland Plaza is composed of three properties with 168,000 square feet of total space just north of Vintage Oaks Shopping Center. The first building, Rowland Plaza I, is a three-story steel frame office building on 3.11 acres. The second site, Rowland Plaza II, is composed of two buildings immediately southwest of Rowland Plaza I on 5.8 acres. One building is entirely leased to Staples.

The owners of the unencumbered property chose to liquidate the asset for cash. The deal highlights one of the only non-distressed property sales in California this year financed with a typical debt-to-equity loan.

The deal, for $120 a square foot, expands BPG's already significant Marin presence. BPG owns Hamilton Landing, also in Novato.

"Rowland Plaza was a very attractive value play and adding to our existing Marin County asset base was very appealing by providing a greater economy of scale for our property management team based at Hamilton Landing," said Michael Barker, Managing Director of BPG. "We were very pleased to work with our longtime friends at Rockwood Capital in acquiring this very special property at the right price."

George Eckard and Grant Lammersen of Cushman Wakefield's San Francisco office represented the seller. Haden Ongaro and Brian Eisberg of Orion Partners in San Rafael represented BPG and will coordinate leasing the project's available space. Some of the existing tenants in Rowland Plaza include: Staples, the City of Novato, Braden Partners LP, Rosenthal & Co., the Prieston Group and the County of Marin.

Sean Mahon, managing director of Wells Fargo's real estate banking group said BPG has been a reliable client for over 20 years.

"We have helped finance numerous of their development projects and the firm has been a dependable client of ours who has proven that they're worthy of the credit we entrust to them," said Mahon.

Email J.K. Dineen at / (415) 288-4971



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