A Sonoma-based real estate investment firm is buying a sizable chunk of downtown Tiburon, part of a prime portfolio that has been in the hands of a single family for more than half a century.
A & C Ventures Inc. of Sonoma is in escrow to purchase 10 properties in the waterfront town from Belvedere resident Barbara Abrams. The portfolio includes a highly visible building near the downtown fountain plaza that houses Caffe Acri, Guaymas and Servino restaurants and a candy store, several commercial spaces on Main Street, the Tiburon Playhouse, Shark's Deli and a number of commercial buildings on Tiburon Boulevard.
The sale price has not been disclosed but the portfolio is approximately 75,000 square feet, according to Vincent Schwab of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services in San Francisco, who has knowledge of the deal. A single office building at 1610 Tiburon Blvd. recently sold for $2.25 million, or $500 per square foot, according to Zohre Grothe of the Marin Land Co.
Such a price per foot would value Abrams' portfolio at $37.5 million, although the price could be much less because her properties need millions of dollars in repairs.
"Some of the buildings on Main Street just need to be totally, I don't want to say demolished, but totally overhauled," said Len Mastromonaco, a lawyer representing Abrams in the sale.
Abrams is the daughter of the late Fred Zelinsky, co-owner of a national painting company, Advertisement D. Zelinsky & Sons Inc., who bought up much of downtown Tiburon in the 1950s. In 2006 the portfolio was split up between Abrams and Fred Zelinsky's daughter-in-law, Laleh Zelinsky.
Laleh Zelinsky still owns numerous downtown properties, including the Main Street parking lot, which are not part of the sale.
The sale is expected to close next month.
Representatives from A & C Ventures did not return calls seeking comment. A & C is a "private real estate investment capital company that specializes in acquiring portfolios and individual properties of free-standing, single-tenant commercial and corporate real estate," according to its website. The company owns properties housing numerous chain stores such as Staples, Kohl's, Borders and CVS, according to the website.
Tiburon Mayor Jim Fraser said he and other Tiburon Town Council members have met individually with A & C representatives.
"I had a good conversation with them," Fraser said. "They seem very energized, very excited and very committed and I see that as a positive, particularly as we continue to work on our revitalization of downtown Tiburon."So for 60+ years, one family has been collecting the rent for a significant portion of downtown Tiburon. And for 30+ years, since Proposition 13 passed, their property taxes have effectively been grandfathered at 1976 levels. The heirs will pocket a pretty sum -- which they and their family have NOT created. Most of it is land value, which is created by the community. Do we think it comes out of thin air? We act as if we do. And then we wonder at why we have so many problems with our economy.