Also: Facilities manager FaciliCorp opens office; Lathrop wins bid for Roseland elementarySonoma County job growth is leading that of other counties in the state, observed Al Coppin, president of commercial real estate brokerage Keegan & Coppin Co. Inc. He pointed to major leases in the Highway 101 corridor in Sonoma and Marin counties in the past several months: Cyan Optics, Calix, Metier, Central Payment Corp., BioMarin Pharmaceutical, ProSight Specialty Insurance and Amy's Kitchen.
[caption id="attachment_19246" align="alignleft" width="141" caption="Al Coppin"][/caption]
"There's a lot of seed and venture capital -- little growth seeds -- and it's working," he said. "A year ago we forecast the county would come out ahead of the rest of the state for that reason."
Class A space in the corridor has been filling up at rents at the same level they were at least 10 years ago, sometimes much older.
"The challenge in 2011 is filling the [class] B space, which in some cases is priced the same as the [class] A space," Mr. Coppin said. "There has to be adjustment for landlords on that."
Petaluma has a two-tier office property investment market, according to Mr. Coppin. In one, distressed properties -- those with not enough rent income to pay debt secured at the peak of the market several years ago -- are selling for $40 to $50 a square foot, namely former Equity Office Properties holdings. That's basically the cost of the land, he noted. [See a related story: "Basin Street plans major upgrades for newly repurchased Petaluma buildings," March 18.]
The rest of the Petaluma office market is getting interest in the $100-a-square-foot range, which is still below the replacement cost of the buildings. However, that reflects the current level of office rents in such properties, Mr. Coppin said.
"The reality is scarcity of land and expense of developing it -- very expensive, such as Petaluma fees for development of $5 to $6 a square foot," he said. "Rental rates should tighten up in a couple of years because of lack of supply and the cost of replacing that supply."
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San Jose-based facilities management firm FaciliCorp opened a North Bay office at the beginning of this year. From a small Forestville office, Vice President Karen Heintz helps direct a Bay Area team of 30 space planners, tenant-improvement construction managers and relocation specialists.
The 28-year-old company handles big details and minutia of a company's new facility, from assembly of the design team to site search and evaluation of flexibility for expansion and contraction to occupancy.
"We make sure there are fewer loose ends and change orders down the road," said Ms. Heintz. Her background includes facilities management for Netscape, AOL and a number of Silicon Valley companies. She can be reached at 707-874-9774.
Dan Peterson, owner-operator of the Sears Hometown Store in Ukiah, plans to consolidate his 5,000-square-foot store in Pear Tree Shopping Center and warehouses around the city to 10,000-square-feet in a small retail project under construction in Ukiah's Redwood Business Park.