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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, September 3, 2012, 7:00 am

Commercial Real Estate: Investor buys Kress Building in Santa Rosa

Also: Wineshipping expands to 207,000sf in Napa

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    Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff ReporterThe Kress Building in downtown Santa Rosa was sold for $4.23 million, or about $227 a square foot for the 18,600 square feet of rentable retail and office space in the 80-year-old building at 613 and 615 Fourth St.

    The buyer in the Aug. 13 transaction was San Carlos-based Jadsis, LLC, led by Adil Jadallah. The seller was Kress Partners, LLC, led by Robert Miller and Brian Muller. Kress Partners purchased the property in 2003, renovating the upstairs offices immediately after the acquisition and the first floor space for Mary’s Pizza in 2007, according to Niels von Doepp, who represented the seller with Jeff Negri also of Cassidy Turley.

    Rami Batarseh of Keegan & Coppin represented the buyer.

    Kress Building in downtown Santa Rosa

    The Kress Building in downtown Santa Rosa (credit: Cassidy Turley)

    With only one 720-square-foot upstairs office suite available, the building is 95 percent occupied.

    “The high occupancy rate is a reflection of the quality of this building and its location in the heart of Fourth Street,” Mr. von Doepp said. “It has a well-lit environment. People want to be in the building.”

    The largest tenant is Mary’s Pizza Shack at street level. Also on the first floor is Clone Digital Printing. Tenants in the upstairs offices, which range from a couple hundred square feet to 1,600 square feet, include Post Carbon Institute, law firms of Brad Chalk and Mark Weinberger, and mechanical engineering firm 15000 Inc.

    The building was built in 1932 with the distinctively ornate architecture of an S. H. Kress & Co. department store. The chain operated from 1896 through 1981 and grew to have more than 200 locations.

    ***

    Wine order fulfillment services provider Wineshipping (707-933-9063, www.wineshipping.com) last month expanded its new Napa base of operations to nearly 208,000 square feet, according to the Dowling-Bracco Team of Cushman & Wakefield, who represented both sides of the new lease.

    In spring of this year, Wineshipping subleased 150,000 square feet of wine warehouse from Constellation Brands at 80 Technology Ct. in south Napa.

    Wineshipping Chief Executive Officer Rick Moradian told the Business Journal at that time that the expansion, including millions of dollars in improvements and automation, was is intended to meet the company’s projected needs for the next half-dozen years. The company previously was based in a 78,000-square-foot warehouse at 21481 Eight St. E. south of Sonoma.

    The company also has fulfillment hubs in wine regions of the central and southern California coast and New York state. [See "Wineshipping investing millions in Napa fulfillment facility," May 21.]

    ***

    Moresco Distributing Co. (707-773-2500, moresco.biz) of Petaluma signed a two-year lease of 14,000 square feet at 1460 Cader Ln. in that city to manage the rapid expansion needs of the nearly 2-decade-old company.

    Moresco will start using the space this month for overflow storage of the company’s selection of packaging and containers as the company expands into Oregon and the greater Bay Area, according to owner Ron Moresco.

    “Depending on how much we’re growing out of state we will purchase another building in that area [south Petaluma],” Mr. Moresco said. The company has a first right of refusal to purchase the Cader Lane building. It may exercise that in a couple years or look for a 60,000-square-foot south Petaluma warehouse.

    Sales currently are more than $20 million a year are projected to grow by $5 million to $8 million with added business from the Bay Area and Oregon, particularly the Portland metropolitan area.

    “It’s the strength of the independent supermarket community there,” Mr. Moresco said, explaining the expansion north of the border.

    For the past three years, Moresco has had a cross-docking relationship with Sacramento-based Tony’s Fine Foods to take products into Oregon, where Tony’s has a close relationship with independent grocers.

    Key customers for Moresco are independent grocers, food processors, general manufacturers, specialty retail foodservice operators and wineries. The company specializes in carrying biodegradable and compostable cups, plates, utensils, take-out containers and other disposable products.

    Increasing adoption of laws that restrict sales of plastic bags and require fees for disposable bags may help sales of those products, which Moresco has carried for the past several years, Mr. Moresco said.

    “People’s habits are changing as they are forced to pay for bags,” he said.

    Michael Golden and Steven Leonard of Cassidy Turley represented Moresco. Tony Sarno of the Dowling-Bracco Team of Cushman & Wakefield represented building owner Anderson Family Trust.

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    Send items for this column to jquackenbush@busjrnl.com and 707-521-4256.

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