CIM Group Sells Oakland’s Iconic Uptown Station

Singapore-based Mapletree Investments bought the 1920s landmark for a price reported to be north of $400 million.

Uptown Station in Oakland, Calif. Image courtesy of CIM Group

More than three years after acquiring Uptown Station, a 397,000-square-foot Class A creative office and retail building in Oakland, Calif., CIM Group has sold the asset to Singapore-based Mapletree Investments. Bay Area media outlets are reporting the sale price for the 1920s-era property was between $420 million and $435 million

The sale comes nearly a year after private equity giant Blackstone Group walked away from a $405 million plan to purchase the building reportedly over concerns about the lending market at the beginning of the pandemic. Blackstone forfeited a $20 million nonrefundable deposit when it exited the deal.

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While Los Angeles-based CIM declined to identify the buyer or release a sales price, Bay Area media outlets reported Mapletree as the new owner. Citing property experts familiar with the transaction, The East Bay Times reported the building sold for about $435 million. Other local media, including the San Francisco Chronicle, reported the building sold for approximately $420 million. In any event, the sale price would be more than double the $180 million CIM Group paid in late December 2017 when it bought the property from Uber. It is also likely to be a record office transaction for the Oakland office market.

Uber had begun an adaptive reuse of the former department store into creative office and retail space in 2015. CIM Group completed the work. It now features a multi-story atrium lobby, expansive outdoor roof decks and 35,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, which is leased to Shake Shack and One Medical. In December 2018, CIM Group leased the entire 356,000 square feet of office space to Square, Inc. Square has a long-term lease but it’s unclear how much space it will be using. The digital payments company announced in May 2020 that it would allow employees, already working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, to permanently work remotely. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Square had listed about a third of the space for sublease prior to the pandemic.

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The 1955 Broadway property is situated at the nexus of three key arteries in downtown Oakland’s Uptown district: Broadway, Telegraph Avenue and 20th Street. The building is located directly above a BART station. Avi Shemesh, co-founder & principal of CIM Group, said in a prepared statement the company had brought a modern creative office property to a burgeoning arts and entertainment district.

“The sale of Uptown Station in this uncertain economic climate reflects the development of a desirable building in a growing community that seeks to deliver strong and stable income,” Shemesh said. “We have achieved our plan for Uptown Station and today it is a significant contributor to the community, an anchor in this growing Oakland submarket.”

Steve Golubchik, Jonathan Schaefler and Darren Hollak with Newmark represented the seller in the transaction.

A longtime investor and developer in the Bay Area, CIM’s first Oakland acquisition occurred in 2007. Since then, the company has made investments in office, residential, retail and hospitality properties. CIM recently completed two multifamily rental communities: Channel House, an eight-story, 333-unit apartment building at 40 Harrison St. in Jack London Square; and, together with partner Strada, Eleven Fifty Clay Street, a 16-story, 288-unit apartment building in downtown Oakland.

More Mapletree Investments

A global real estate development, investment, capital and property management company headquartered in Singapore, Mapletree has assets in 13 markets, including in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.

In September of last year, Mapletree acquired three office assets and land in Morrisville, N.C., in the Raleigh-Durham market, for more than $189 million from Starwood Capital Group. The buildings, which include Lenovo’s U.S. headquarters, total nearly 520,000 square feet of space.

In September 2019, Mapletree Investments and Mapletree Industrial Trust purchased a multi-state portfolio of 10 data centers totaling 1.4 million square feet from Digital Realty for about $1.4 billion. The data centers are located in Colorado, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Arizona, Texas and in Ontario, Canada.

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