North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 24, 2014, 3:28 pm

Rafael Town Center sold for $50M


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    Rafael Town Center, as seen from Fourth Street

    Rafael Town Center recently underwent a $3.6 million renovation. (image from RafaelTownCenter.com)

    SAN RAFAEL — A San Mateo-based investor purchased Rafael Town Center, a downtown San Rafael mix of luxury apartments and commercial space, for $50 million.

    JB Matteson, Inc., a private real estate investment manager, acquired the property at 999 Fourth St. on Feb. 21. It has 133 apartments, 41,783 square feet of high-quality office space and 20,312 square feet of street-level shops and restaurants. It was finished in 2002 and underwent a $3.6 million remodeling in the past two years.

    The seller was an investment account managed by Stockbridge Real Estate Funds.

    “Rafael Town Center enjoys a central location in downtown San Rafael, in Marin County, which is one of the country’s strongest rental markets,” said John Bellack, president of JB Matteson. “It offers residents and commercial tenants a walkable, urban environment to live and work. The property is a modern transit-oriented community in an infill Bay Area location.”

    Rafael Town Center at night

    This is JB Matteson’s second Marin purchase, following the 124-unit Millworks development in Novato. The company invested $190 million in multifamily property acquisitions or investments last year. Typical investment targets are developments built in the past 10 years and located in coastal areas from Southern California to Seattle.

    The portfolio includes six other California properties, located in Ventura, Upland, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Orange County.

    Rafael Town Center (rafaeltowncenter.com) is located on the corner of 4th Street and Lootens Place in the heart of San Rafael’s vibrant downtown shopping, dining and office district, featuring a “Walk Score” of 98.

    With proximity to US 101, the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal, and the San Rafael Transit Center just blocks away, the property offers superior access to destinations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, the voter-approved future Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) passenger rail line will provide residents and tenants additional and convenient nearby public transit options.

    The six-story residential portion of Rafael Town Center has a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, averaging 620 square feet.

    Recent improvements to the property include renovation of the leasing center, enhanced energy efficiency systems, new community room for private functions, new business center and a new fitness center. The private courtyard was upgraded to feature modern patio furniture, a fire pit and a stainless steel barbecue. In addition, the apartment units were upgraded, receiving new flooring, appliances, hardware and paint.

    Additional community amenities include 24-hour onsite management, electronically controlled building access, free WiFi in common areas, on-site storage and secure bike storage.

    The five-story office portion of Rafael Town Center is 92 percent leased. It has 20 suites, ranging in size from 1,500–5,000 square feet. Tenants are a mix of financial, accounting, law, and real estate firms, including Presidio Bank and MidWest Agri-Commodities.

    The retail portion of Rafael Town Center runs for 155 feet along Fourth Street and is located under the apartments. Retail tenants include Mountain View Vintners, Mr. Pickles, Coldstone Creamery, Lime Wireless and Opus Bank.

    The three-level parking garage has 257 parking spaces, a secure bicycle-parking room and 30 storage units for residents and commercial tenants.

    “We are pleased with the performance of our multifamily portfolio and plan to continue to accumulate newer, high quality, class-A apartments on the West Coast,” said Matt Matteson, president of Matteson Realty Services.

    Seth Siegel, George Eckard, Adam Lasoff, Grant Lammersen and Jason Parr of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller.

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