Swift Real Estate Partners sees value in Hacienda, transforms former AT&T campus after landmark real estate purchase
Tenancy increases from 10% to 65% with multi-million investment from Swift
When AT&T vacated Hacienda in Dec. 2013, the telecom giant left behind a beautiful 60-acre campus with six buildings surrounding a central courtyard.
Though the complex faced significant leasing challenges – down to 10% occupancy after Ross Stores moved their corporate headquarters to nearby Dublin – it was scooped up three or four months later by Swift Real Estate Partners in one of the largest office sales in the East Bay that year.
“This is one of the best opportunities we’ve ever seen,” says Brett Miles, Asset Manager for Swift. “The bones of the buildings are top notch. It was a great starting point, but needed a major refresh.”
Swift is a value-add investor. Typically, the company purchases properties that require some construction to bring out their full potential. So far, Swift has spent several million renovating the campus.
“It’s been a lot of work,” Miles says. “We’ve invested several million dollars into the repositioning, but we have the project to a point where we think it’s the top asset in the 680 corridor.”
At the time of purchase, it was a dated corporate campus with water intensive landscaping and a high fence that isolated employees from nearby amenities offered at Hacienda. But Swift saw the opportunity to create a modern, Silicon Valley-style complex with outdoor features designed to enhance the workplace experience.
“We’ve taken it from 10% occupied when we purchase to the project to 65%,” says Miles, who attributes part of their success to the strong working relationship between the City of Pleasanton and Hacienda.
Hacienda is a lively mix of retail, restaurants, housing and office space in Pleasanton, California. Since the 1980s, Hacienda has been a scalable and varied environment supporting all types of businesses and residences. It is ideally situated near BART and major freeways, with direct access to the rest of the Bay Area and local communities. The mix of amenities available at Haciendas creates a rich environment uniquely suited for working and living.
An integral part of Swift’s plan was no small task: subdivide the single parcel into 10 parcels and redesign the sewer lines to enable the sale of individual buildings. The Hacienda Owners Association helped pave the way for a smoother process with the city, supported by Hacienda’s history of smart, environmentally friendly projects.
“That’s helped a lot with us dealing with the city.” Miles explains. “The association has been instrumental in terms of all the progress we’ve been able to achieve and in the time that we’ve been able to achieve it.”
Today, the 1.03-million-square-foot complex has less than 400,000 square feet vacant. The company recently sold a building to GAP and has significant interest from several large tenants, including a Fortune 200 company that cannot be disclosed.
Current tenants include Ellie Mae, ServiceMax, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Hendrick Automotive, Farmers Insurance, Zenith Insurance and SmartZip, a marketing firm that provides data for real estate agents.
Renamed Rosewood Commons, the campus features decorative stone inlays with a full basketball court, sand volleyball pit, bocce ball, and sophisticated wood and stone picnic tables. The glass-front café overlooks a putting green, outdoor tables, BBQ pit with smoker, and fire pit.
Grass was also replaced with drought resistant landscaping, salvaged artwork original to the site, white benches illuminated at night by LED lights, and an outdoor collaboration area on a stone court that doubles as outdoor event space.
“Basically, this was a prison,” says Rod Collings, general manager of Rosewood Commons. “The vision of Swift was to open this up. Basically, we took down the Berlin Wall and now here we are.”
Future construction plans at Rosewood Commons include replacing surface parking with 305 apartments, retail, office space, and a parking garage.
Miles envisions the campus being attractive to tech companies, and a diverse mix of tenants from more traditional industries such as financial, insurance, legal, and real estate.
Hacienda is next to a BART station, offers easy access to the I-580, and is near the confluence of two major freeways, I-580 and I-680, which Miles says makes it attractive to employers. It also has a deep talent base of well-educated residents, including many engineers and tech employees.
“But I think Pleasanton and Hacienda, it’s a great place to live, it’s a great place to be,” Miles says.
|Type of Investor||Value-add|
|Length of Hacienda Relationship||2014|
|Assets||Rosewood Commons, a 60-acre campus with 1.03 million square feet of office space|
|Occupancy Highlights||Occupancy increased from 10% to 65% after repositioning of campus|
Contra Costa Times