Wheels.com’s All Electric Bike Enters The Last Mile Transportation Revolution Along with Dockless Bikes and Scooters .

This week Wheels.com introduced a dockless all electric bike throughout Westwood and Brentwood. Today, dockless scooters along with semi and fully electric bikes crowd Westside sidewalks to offer a solution to short commutes. Many students and urban millennials are abandoning their cars for these alternative transportation devices. A one or two mile commute from campus, transit or home can now be accomplished with these omnipresent devices. One can pay $6 dollars for an Uber or Lift to travel one or two miles or $1.50 for a scooter or bike. These scooters and bikes are hassle free and cost less than parking in many cases. Those properties within two miles of a subway or light rail, campus, major office center, entertainment districts or desirable amenities–will take on greater value.  The City planned for bike racks, but now we may need scooter parking.

Planners have for decades promoted bikes as an alternative to driving and as a way to close the gap on short commutes–especially that last mile or two from a subway or light rail.  Tech companies have now closed the gap beyond the planners’ dreams.  We shall now see how enduring and what impact these devices have on the urban scene.  We must now deal with the task of making these alternatives safe and convenient.  Remember that in the early days of the automobile–many thought cars unsafe and very upsetting to the horses.

Clarion Partners to Buy 410 Townsend in San Francisco for $86MM – The Registry

DSCF1981We purchased this property in 2006 for $17 million and sold it in 2013 to Zurich for approximately $49 million.   The property was already fully improved with furniture when we purchased the property.  The property had been leased by Razor Fish and Sony. We did a lot of heavy lifting. The property suffered from a controversial zoning.  We were forced to rezone the area and apply for conversion to an office building.  We took the property through the financial crisis in 2009 and leased the building short term to seven start ups and then released 65% of the property to Adobe who highly improved the space.  Up it goes until it blows, and the higher it goes–the bigger it blows.


Source: Clarion Partners to Buy 410 Townsend in San Francisco for $86MM – The Registry

Political Headwinds Mount for California Commercial Real Estate

Several major political issues will continue to haunt commercial real estate in California.  Although the California Apartment Association defeated the repeal of the  anti draconian rent control protections in Prop 10–rent control will continue to expand.

The ballot initiative to repeal prop 13 for commercial real estate will appear of the 2020 ballot.

San Francisco declared that special tax propositions that originate from petitions versus the legislature require only a simple majority versus the two thirds vote.  San Francisco passed several new taxes based on this interpretation. One such initiative raised the gross receipts tax from .25%  to 3.75% for most commercial property owners.  For many recent leveraged buyers, this tax could represent over 30% of their net income after debt service.  Ouch.  The Howard Jarvis Association filed suit that Prop 13 and Prop 218 require a 2/3 majority vote to raise taxes.  If Howard Jarvis loses–majority rule would radically increase special taxes all over California.  More about this below.

The political winds are calling for more radical versus gradual tax policy to solve issues of income inequality.  Expect several new tax measures on the 2020 ballot including a split tax roll initiative repealing prop 13 for commercial properties.


Source: SF unique in requiring only simple majority vote for tax measures – SFChronicle.com