PMI Properties is pleased to announce the sale of two iconic South of Market San Francisco creative office buildings: the 75,000 square foot 410 Townsend Street and the 55,000 square foot 539 Bryant Street. The buyers were affiliates of Zurich Alternative Asset Management. The purchase price matched or exceeded those obtained by class A trophy conventional high rise office buildings. The sale dramatizes the new demand and popularity of warehouses converted into creative offices in key media and technology markets.
PMI Properties purchased the properties in the mid 2000s during the recovery of web based software companies. They made the bold move of branding the buildings for web start-ups by introducing the first collaborative office designs, utilizing a flexible leasing policy, and leasing exclusively to web start-ups. This strategy was enacted to create a cluster effect and effectively brand the building as the center of tech start-up activity. The successful strategy was featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2010.
In it’s start-up phase, Twitter moved into a 4,000 square foot office at 539 Bryant after their first round of venture capital funding. Other successful start-ups at these two buildings include Yammer (sold to Microsoft for $1 billion dollars), Playdom (sold to Disney for $763 million), Tech Crunch (sold to AOL), Guardian Edge (sold to Symantec), Aperture (sold to Google), Ioda (sold to Sony), Coding Technologies (sold to Dolby), Xobni (sold to Yahoo!), Eventbrite, OpenDNS, Scribd, Zendesk, Jaspersoft, Ustream and Yousendit (now known as Hightail).
Recently, Adobe leased most of 410 Townsend for ten years and HKS Architects leased the ground floor of 539 Bryant for ten years. Coincidentally, Adobe bought the start-up Macromedia who started at 410 Townsend in the 1980s.