The historic Ford Point has been purchased for $103.7 million by a partnership involving New York-based Madison Capital and Meadow Partners, according to Cushman & Wakefield, which advised on the sale.
Madison Capital is described as a real estate investment and operating company “focused on acquiring and repositioning superior mixed-use assets in dynamic markets,” while Meadow Partners is described as a “vertically integrated private real estate investment firm.”
At the time of the sale, the 478,761-square-foot building was 83 percent leased with tenants including SunPower, Mountain Hardwear and California Closets. The site is also home to the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center, which will not be impacted by the sale, according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, who added that Orton has retained ownership of the Craneway Pavilion.
“We were drawn to this opportunity by the asset’s prominent waterfront location, robust power supply, high ceiling heights, expansive parking area, and potential to create a dynamic best-in-class R&D facility in one of the East Bay’s fastest-growing submarkets,” Jonathan Nachmani, Madison’s Managing Director and Head of Acquisitions, said in a statement. “Our capital improvement program will respond to the shortage of premium R&D space that is most in-demand and will attract many of the Bay Area’s most innovative users.”
Ford Point was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn in 1930 to house the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant, which was the largest such plant on the West Coast. During WWII, the plant assembled military vehicles for the war effort. Since 1988, the building has been on the National Register of Historical places. In 2004, Orton Development purchased the 22.9-acre site, which by then had been long dormant, from the Richmond Redevelopment Agency and began a $40 million renovation. Since 2008, an additional $11.3 million has been invested to upgrade the roof, add rooftop solar and also electric charging stations and for asphalt repaving.
“Ford Point is a spectacular asset and model of urban revitalization and is truly a one-of-a-kind San Francisco Bay Area landmark. This important historical Bay Area treasure has been a labor of love for the Orton Development team from the time they purchased it in 2004,” said Seth Siegel, Executive Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield. “The Orton team has done a fantastic job on the rehabilitation and lease-up of Ford Point.”
Siegel added, “Having recently repositioned and exited 360 Spear in San Francisco, Madison Capital was seeking another sizable Bay Area opportunity. They continued to express interest in Ford Point and once it became available, jumped at the opportunity to step in and take the reins. Madison has already begun capitalizing on leasing momentum at the property.”