Visa’s Palo Alto office building bought in big $138 million deal

PALO ALTO — A new Palo Alto office building that’s occupied by Visa has been bought in an all-cash deal that indicates realty investors hunger for Silicon Valley commercial properties.

The building, located in Palo Alto’s California Avenue business district, was bought by investors for $138 million in cash, according to Santa Clara County property records. The buyer was SVF Sherman Palo Alto, which, public records show, is associated with a Carlsbad-based entity called Ryan LLC.

The purchase of the building, located at 385 Sherman Ave., appears to be the most expensive commercial real estate deal in Santa Clara County during the still-young year of 2018, based on the total dollar amount. The acquisition of the 64,000-square-foot building was completed on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The buyers paid an eye-popping $2,165 a square foot for the building, which was completed in 2016.

The only occupant of the building is a Visa research and development unit dedicated to digital commerce products and services. Visa announced in July 2016 that it would be moving into the building.

“A combination of office and collaboration spaces for approximately 300 Visa employees focused on technology research, business intelligence, data security and merchant solutions,” was how Visa at the time described the activities that were planned for the building.

San Francisco-based Visa said, at the time it announced the new Palo Alto office, that the site fit into a widening strategy for the financial services and electronic commerce behemoth.

“We continue to expand our research and development capabilities globally and are investing in facilities that enable our teams to collaborate in the creation of digital commerce solutions,” Rajat Taneja, Visa’s executive vice president of technology, said.

Visa’s three-story building is a short distance from an array of dining and drinking establishments, including The Counter hamburger restaurant, Pastis French restaurant, Joanie’s Cafe, Cafe Pro Bono, Palo …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

Poll: GOP will bear most of the blame for shutdown

By Scott Clement | Washington Post

By a 20-point margin, more Americans blame President Trump and Republicans rather than Democrats for a potential government shutdown, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

A 48 percent plurality says Trump and congressional Republicans are mainly responsible for the situation resulting from disagreements over immigration laws and border security, while 28 percent fault Democrats. A sizable 18 percent volunteer that both parties are equally responsible. Political independents drive the lopsided margin of blame, saying by 46 to 25 percent margin that Republicans and Trump are responsible for the situation.

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The poll was conducted Monday to Thursday, largely before House Republicans’ passage of a short-term funding bill Thursday aimed at averting a shutdown starting midnight Friday and putting pressure on Democrats and the Senate to avert a shutdown.

Democrats railed against the House bill for not offering protections for young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children as well as other issues, and are planning to block the measure if it is brought to the Senate floor. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that members will leave Washington Friday for a previously scheduled recess, putting the Senate in a take-it-or-leave-it position.

The Post-ABC poll finds Democrats are more united in blaming Republicans for the situation than vice versa. A 78 percent majority of Democrats say Trump and congressional Republicans are mainly responsible for the potential government shutdown, while a smaller 66 percent of Republicans blame Democrats in Congress. One in seven Republicans, 14 percent, say Trump and Republicans are to blame.

Public opinion ahead of Friday’s deadline is similar to attitudes at the end of the 2013 government shutdown. A Post-ABC …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

Developers for a Trump Tower in India are offering to fly the first 100 buyers to the US to meet Donald Trump Jr.

Forget surreptitious jaunts to Manhattan’s Trump Tower — if you want to meet Donald Trump Jr., consider investing in Indian real estate.

The Guardian reported Friday that the first 100 buyers of luxury apartments in a new Trump building in Gurgaon, India, will be flown to the U.S. to hang out with President Trump’s eldest son. The Guardian reports that the project’s developers, Tribeca Developers and M3M, are not being subtle about their offer either, having adopted the phrase: “Buy a flat, meet Trump Jr.”

The pitch has apparently worked, as the director for India-based M3M revealed in a statement last week that 20 apartments in the building had been sold — worth roughly $15 million in total. The Trump Towers in Gurgaon — which is about 20 miles south of Delhi — is the fifth Trump-branded property in India, The Guardian notes.

The Indian website for the project boasts that Trump-branded buildings have “become the most prestigious address that the most deserving people can get.” But that’s exactly the problem, former White House ethics chief Norm Eisen said. “Making Donald Jr. available to those who can afford it in a foreign land based on purchasing a property is an ethics atrocity,” Eisen told The Guardian.

For those who can afford it, the apartments at the Trump Towers in Gurgaon are reported to cost between $500,000 and $1 million. Read more at The Guardian.

…read more

Source:: The Week – Business

Los Gatos: Shorter building urged for controversial Alberto Way plan

The controversial Alberto Way development at the corner of Highway 9 returns to the Los Gatos Planning Commission next month, with planners hoping to hear that a compromise they approved on Jan. 10 is feasible. The developers want to construct a two-story building, but the Planning Commission voted 4-2 to ask them to consider a combined one- and two-story building that would better accommodate neighborhood views.

Views are just one of the things nearby residents don’t like about the proposal. They’re also worried about traffic, street parking and a proposed two-story underground parking garage. The neighbors had previously asked that the garage be just one story, citing a hydrologists’ report that said digging deeper could harm home foundations.

Commissioner Matthew Hudes said, “I’m not convinced that it’s possible to do (a one-story garage) on this site … so, I am not reopening that particular item.”

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Hudes did call for the developer to reconsider building a 5,400-square-foot dog park and amenity area for visitors and neighbors.

“There was actually quite a bit of testimony from residents that a dog park wasn’t necessarily the best use and so, I was again suggesting that while it be publicly accessible open space, the applicant explore potentially other uses for that space that might be more attractive to the neighbors.”

Neither the neighbors nor the developer spoke at the meeting, which focused on commission questions and deliberations.

Initially, the developers proposed an approximately 92,000-square-foot development that was later reduced to 83,000 square feet.

The Los Gatos Town Council suggested a further reduction in size last September and sent the developers’ application back to the planning commission.

So, the application that commissioners considered last week reflected yet another reduction in the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

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