Growers Square office complex bought amid hot Walnut Creek market

WALNUT CREEK — A high-profile office complex in Walnut Creek has been bought for a top price, a fresh indicator of a robust Bay Area economy.

Growers Square, which contains three office buildings that together total 195,000 square feet, traded hands on Thursday. The office complex is located at 1646 through 1676 California Avenue and is a short distance from the Walnut Creek BART station and the iconic, high-end Broadway Plaza shopping center.

“Walnut Creek has experienced a renaissance that has brought high-end restaurants, shopping and nightlife to the downtown core, making it one of the Bay Area’s true 24-hour cities,” said Steven Golubchik, a vice chairman with Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial realty brokerage that arranged the transaction. “The property’s location at the heart of this revival was an added benefit to the buyer.”

Rockwood Capital, a San Francisco-based real estate investment firm, was the buyer and Invesco, an investment management firm, was the seller, according to Newmark Knight Frank.

Growers Square’s tenants include John Muir/Mt Diablo Health System, Pacific Coast Bankers Bancshares and BKF Engineers, said Grant Lammersen, a vice chairman with Newmark Knight Frank.

The price, according to Rockwood Capital director Beau Baiocchi, was approximately $88 million, or $450 a square foot. That’s deemed to be a high value for a suburban office market in the East Bay.

“This shows how strong the economy is in the Bay Area,” said Edward Del Beccaro, a senior managing director with Transwestern, a commercial realty brokerage.

The deal also means office tenants can expect higher rents in downtown Walnut Creek, according to Del Beccaro.

“Growers Square is very walkable to BART and it’s very walkable to the downtown amenities,” Del Beccaro said.

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