Harbor Buys 2 Office Campuses in SoCal Suburbs

In separate cash transactions totaling $56 million, the value-add real estate investment company acquired Valencia Gateway and Conejo Corporate Campus, two properties totaling 356,100 square feet.

Conejo Corporate Campus, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Conejo Corporate Campus, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Harbor Associates LLC knows a diamond in the rough when it sees one, and it just saw two—and acquired them both. In separate all-cash transactions totaling $56 million, the real estate investment company just scooped up Valencia Gateway and Conejo Corporate Campus, two value-add office complexes encompassing a combined 356,100 square feet in suburban locales within the Greater Los Angeles area.

Harbor purchased The Commons, a 156,600-square-foot property featuring two buildings in Valencia, in a joint venture with Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Real Estate for $33.1 million. Developed in 2005 on a 10-acre site carrying the addresses of 25124 and 25152 Springfield Court, The Commons is 81 percent leased and primed for re-positioning. Harbor’s strategy for the property includes renovations to transform the asset into a best-in-class workplace. Demand drivers are on the horizon in the form of the 58-acre Disney | ABC Studios at The Ranch soundstage development, and the 21,500 residences planned at Five Point Holdings’ Newhall Ranch mixed-use community. 

“We believe that, despite the negative stigma surrounding the concept of suburban office, the fundamentals for certain properties in this sub-property type can be quite compelling,” Joseph Sumberg, co-head, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Real Estate, said in a prepared statement.

In Thousand Oaks, Harbor partnered with Blue Vista Capital Management on the $22.9 million acquisition of Conejo Corporate Campus, a two-building complex at 2380 & 2400 Conejo Spectrum St. Offering 198,500 square feet on an 11-acre site, the structures were built in 2001 for Amgen, which called the property home until the end of 2011. Harbor’s vision for the campus, which was 55 percent leased at the time of purchase, calls for the re-engineering of space to convert the single-tenant layout to a floor plan that can accommodate users seeking digs ranging from 8,000 to 100,000 square feet.

Shopping in the ‘burbs

Armed with strong relationships in the brokerage arena and the ability to come to the table with cash, three-year-old Harbor is well-equipped to capitalize on opportunities in suburban office locales that are low on the radar of many institutional investors. Harbor’s acquisitions over the last 18 months include the 43,000-square-foot Tustin Corporate Center and the 210,000-square-foot Tustin Commons office and flex portfolio in Tustin. Harbor also grabbed the 159,200-square-foot Conejo Spectrum in Thousand Oaks.

The suburbs are Harbor’s oyster, and the company has no fear of an increase in competition for promising properties in these areas. “The vast majority of the institutional capital raised has been earmarked for ‘value-add’ projects in urban locations,” Paul Miszkowicz, principal with Harbor Associates LLC, told Commercial Property Executive. “That money has already been raised with that investment thesis in mind and I don’t foresee groups pivoting on strategy all together. I do think that new investment vehicles will be raised, and strategies will be developed to address the supply/demand imbalance in today’s current marketplace.”

Harbor continues to target office projects in Southern California and Denver, and according to Miszkowicz, the company expects to shell out $150 million to $200 million on new acquisitions over the next 12 months.

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