Leading US Private Equity Firm and Chinese Real Estate Firm Will Convert 18-Acre Historic Drive-In Site Into Largest Upscale Office Development on the Mid-Peninsula
BURLINGAME, CA – Represented by Jeff Diodati and Sandy Comaroto of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), internationally-backed Burlingame Point LLC closed on 300 Airport Boulevard, also known as Burlingame Point, last week. The buyer, a joint venture of H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP) and KYLLI, INC (KYLLI, which is 100% owned by Genzon Property Group of China), intends to spend approximately $300 million to build the largest upscale development of office space on the Peninsula waterfront in more than a decade.
“The Burlingame Point project will further cement the mid-Peninsula as a center for business and natural sciences. The proposed plans, including open spaces, is a tremendous win for businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Joanne Wondolowski, APR Vice President and Burlingame Manager, whose agent helped broker the deal.
KYLLI is a Palo Alto based real estate firm backed by Genzon Property Group, a successful Chinese real estate development firm with a portfolio of approximately $5.0 billion. H&QAP is an international private equity firm based in Palo Alto with 30 years of experience in cross-border technology investments.
The purchase reflects larger trends in the market according to Ron Gable, APR Vice President and San Mateo Manager. “In both residential and commercial real estate, the Bay Area is a destination for international investment. People from all over the world recognize this as a universally appealing and thriving business center.”
The property, once home to the Burlingame Drive-In before it was demolished a decade ago, was sold by Millennium Partners. The real estate developer, most known in the area for building San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel and Millennium Tower, had previously purchased the suburban site in 2006 and began plans to develop the site. Under their planning, the site was approved by the City of Burlingame for construction of four buildings with 767,000 square feet of office, technology, and life sciences space, along with a retail center, food services, a separate amenities building as well as structured and below-ground parking. The plan also calls for relocating an existing section of Airport Boulevard away from the Bay shoreline and into the site itself, allowing for new open space along the waterfront and a new segment of the Bay Trail. The project will now be implemented by the new buyers.
“Burlingame Point is an important addition to our growing Bay Area portfolio,” said Mr. Hok-Kan Dang, the founder and CEO of Genzon Property Group, who with KYLLI also own 225 Bust Street, a historical Class A office tower in San Francisco’s Financial District. “We look forward to working with the City of Burlingame and H&QAP to leverage our existing real estate development experience and technology-related service track record to bring global innovation to this strategically located space.”
Genzon and H&QAP have a long-term relationship having previously partnered in developing a premier office complex in Shenzhen, China with tenants including global technology leaders such as Microsoft and Tencent, one of China’s leading internet and social media companies.
“We have enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Genzon Group over eight years characterized by shared vision and deep mutual trust. We are truly excited to develop Burlingame Point into a destination for global technology companies” said Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, Chairman of H&QAP.
For the real estate agents involved, the transaction also was a personal one. “Jeff and I grew up in the area and went to the Burlingame Drive-In as teenagers. We always wanted to see a wonderful development here, and being able to play an instrumental role in making that a reality is an honor,” said Sandy Comaroto of APR. “The location is fantastic – on the water, close to transportation hubs and equidistant between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
“This is a very exciting project that will transform the Peninsula waterfront and take advantage of this site’s untapped potential,” explained Jeff Diodati of APR.
The transaction was backed by the City of Burlingame, local politicians, and the Burlingame City Council