Had you been reading theFrontSteps for a while, you’d already have known the Lembis were hinting at unloading some property, but we don’t even scratch the surface of the kind of excellent real estate information that is available in the San Francisco Business Times. (As always, we HIGHLY suggest a subscription should you want to be plugged in to San Francisco new development and big time real estate news.) The latest issue is no exception.
We’d like to bring your attention to the recent article, “Lembi’s buying binge turns to selling spree”, “the latest indication that the city’s largest owner of apartment buildings is under pressure to unload properties to reduce short-term debt.”
As always, we tend to focus on the positive, rather than the negative (unlike some), and would like to point out a few things:
The Lembi Group, which controls 300 buildings and 8,000 units through subsidiaries Skyline Realty and CitiApartments, had put all but one of the 19 buildings up for sale early in the year. It recently sold 72-unit Nob Hill Tower to the Prado Group and Felson Cos. for $37.2 million. The company also sold 1850 Clay St. for $7.9 million and 1801 Pacific St. for $4.2 million.
Seth Siegel and Zach Siegel, senior directors at Cushman & Wakefield, have the listing.
Seth Siegel said 210 parties have completed confidentiality agreements, about twice the number expected. He said “nothing like this has ever sold before.”
“This has been the strongest response we have ever had to any single offering,” he said. The time it takes to accumulate a portfolio of buildings like this is enormous. Here you have an opportunity to immediately make a foothold in one of the best residential markets in the world.”
Those interested include real estate investment trusts, large multi-family owners and institutions. Fifteen percent of prospective buyers are foreign, Siegel said.
“We’ve heard from people in Dubai, London, Switzerland, Germany and Amsterdam,” said Siegel.
Last year, San Francisco was the top metro area for apartment rental growth, according to Marcus & Millichap, and rental rates are projected to grow another 7 percent in 2008. Siegel said the weakness in the condo market has bolstered the demand for apartments.
Just goes to show, one man’s loss, is another man’s gain, and all of the focus on the downturn of one market, could mean the uptick of another. As we’ve said before, the savvy buyers are licking their chops in this “down” market looking for some solid long term investments in San Francisco residential real estate.
[Since we know it's coming, here is your counterpoint: Bosa Development suspends Mission Bay condo Project. And here is a counter to that: Shorenstein to start Oakland office tower...and so you see, we could go back and forth, or we could bury our heads in the sand.]
-Lembi’s buying binge turns to selling spree [San Francisco Business Times]