Gem­dale to lease SF space to Ama­zon’s Twitch unit

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Chi­nese real es­tate de­vel­oper Gem­dale’s first project in the US has won a con­tract from the video game stream­ing com­pany Twitch to lease a new of­fice tower in San Fran­cisco’s Fi­nan­cial District.

Twitch, ac­quired by Ama­zon in 2014, signed the lease for 185,000 square feet at 350 Bush Street, which is San Fran­cisco’s third largest of­fice lease year to date af­ter Fit­bit’s 310,000-square-foot deal at 215 Fre­mont Street and Lyft’s 206,000-square-foot sub­lease from Drop­box at 185 Berry Street, ac­cord­ing to the San Fran­cisco Busi­ness Times.

The land­lord and the ten­ant re­port­edly had been in talks since last year. Twitch will oc­cupy al­most half of the build­ing — the sec­ond through ninth floors — in the 19-story build­ing, which is ex­pected to open next year. The cur­rent head­quar­ters of Twitch is a few blocks from the new build­ing.

The Shang­hai- listed Gem­dale Corp and Dal­las­based US de­vel­oper Lin­coln Prop­erty Co formed a joint ven­ture in 2014 to de­velop 350 Bush Street, a 19-story, 372,000-square-foot Class A of­fice tower, and 500 Pine Street, a five-story, 56,000-square-foot of­fice/ re­tail devel­op­ment in San Fran­cisco. Both plots are lo­cated in the heart of the North Fi­nan­cial District.

The 350 Bush Street build­ing is de­signed to in­cor­po­rate the his­toric terra cotta fa­cade and col­umns of the iconic San Fran­cisco Min­ing Ex­change Build­ing.

Since 2013, Gem­dale had been fol­low­ing the project be­fore it “locked in prices in ad­vance in the man­ner of off­mar­ket and fi­nally ac­quired” the prop­erty in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

The hot de­mand for of­fice build­ings and “con­tin­u­ous dec­li­na­tion of va­cancy rate” are the ma­jor rea­sons for the in­vest­ment.

Most of­fice build­ings un­der con­struc­tion and sched­uled for com­ple­tion in the next four years in the city were leased in ad­vance, Gem­dale said.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to the San Fran­cisco Busi­ness Times re­port, the projects are be­ing built with­out ten­ants.

In Fe­bru­ary, Gem­dale and Lin­coln Prop­erty part­nered to ac­quire a prop­erty in north San Jose, the cen­ter of Silicon Val­ley, which is ap­proved for four new of­fice build­ings with a to­tal space of 415,000 square feet.

The Pasadena, Cal­i­for­ni­abased Gem­dale USA did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

The San Fran­cisco projects mark Gem­dale’s first en­try into the US, which is part of the com­pany’s in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion strat­egy fol­low­ing its $350 mil­lion bond of­fer­ing in July 2012, rep­re­sent­ing the first bond is­suance in over­seas mar­kets by a do­mes­ti­cally listed Chi­nese real es­tate com­pany, the com­pany said.

In Septem­ber 2015, Gem­dale en­tered into a joint ven­ture for a $125 mil­lion mixed-use project in Hol­ly­wood.

The six-story res­i­den­tial, of­fice and re­tail com­plex is lo­cated along Hol­ly­wood’s Western Av­enue, near Sun­set Boule­vard.

CONGJIANG WANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

A 19-story of­fice tower is be­ing built at 350 Bush Street in San Fran­cisco. The project, which is slated to open next year, is backed by Chi­nese de­vel­oper Gem­dale Corp.

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