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Ron Gable

Notable Listings / Sales

Alain Pinel Realtors Represents Internationally-Backed Joint Venture Firm in Purchase of Burlingame Point

March 19, 2015

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 Point

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

Buyer / Seller Information Market Updates

Pre-Approvals and Financing: Quality Matters

June 3, 2013

Author: Ron Gable, Vice President and Manager of Alain Pinel Realtors San Mateo and Half Moon Bay offices.
What a difference a market can make; buying a home today has, in many cases turned into an extremely competitive environment. Many properties are attracting multiple offers and selling for well over the asking price and this is changing how buyers need to think about pre-approvals. That is where a lender has reviewed the buyer’s credit and income/expense history in order to pre-determine their ability and amount of loan obtainable in order to buy. For years, REALTORS® have been advising their clients to obtain a pre-approval for a home loan prior to making an offer – and in this market, it is not so much about whether you have one, but the quality of the one you have.
In the past, there was a question of what to do first: shop for a property or look for financing? Traditionally, many homebuyers used to buy a home backwards. A typical scenario was that a buyer sees a property they want to purchase. They have their REALTOR® formulate an offer. When it is accepted the scramble starts. There would be a frantic rush to find a lender to work with in order to meet the loan contingency removal date. Thankfully for everyone, that process has changed for the better.
In today’s environment nearly 100% of offers come with a pre-approval letter or commitment so the seller can have a comfort level with the buyer’s financing requirements. In other words, the buyer has gotten the financing equation out of the way with the exception of an appraisal.
One thing inexperienced buyers don’t realize is how the quality of the loan pre-approval can affect the favorability of an offer. Which lender, their track record, and their reputation in the community can all affect how an offer is viewed. An out of state buyer who has a long-term relationship with a bank may not be looked at with comfort by a seller who has never heard of the bank and questions their ability to perform. So too with a web-based lender, one that has no physical location and whose communication process may be by email. In a market in which we are seeing many all cash offers, buyers requiring financing need to do everything possible to reassure a seller than their transaction will go smoothly to remain competitive.
When reviewing multiple offers, a key point that seller’s agents advise their clients is to look at who will be providing the financing. Many local lenders will call the seller’s agent prior to the offer being presented in order to introduce themselves and confirm the buyer’s ability to obtain financing. The purpose there is not to sell their buyer per se, but to add an additional level of confidence. Local lenders who are known to agents are often received in a favorable light, and the seller’s agent will have the ability to tell their client that they know of this lender. Often times that agent has done business with that lender and can offer an even stronger level of endorsement for that particular offer.
Today’s market is competitive – buyers are making all kinds of compromises to make themselves more appealing to sellers. Buyers are not only facing bidding wars and multiple offer situations, but in the Bay Area, buyers are up against all-cash offers. For the majority of home buyers who do require financing for their purchase, make sure you have a pre-approval from a reputable lender. To win in this market – the value of making financing as easy and comfortable for all parties cannot be overstated.
This article recently ran in the February 8th, 2013 Palo Alto Daily News publication Premier Homes.


About Author:

Ron Gable is a tenured leader in the real estate industry and serves as Vice President and Manager of Alain Pinel Realtors San Mateo and Half Moon Bay offices. With long-term family roots in real estate, Ron brings a highly qualified level of experience and performance to office management and guidance to sales professionals.