2016 - October 2016 Newsletter

2016 - October 2016 Newsletter


Summer Series Recap



Cornet Northern California, in association with the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, (SPUR) produced an excellent three-part Summer series entitled “Reimagining Work Life in the Bay Area”.  The series consisted of chapter meetings in each of the region’s largest cities, San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco. The three sessions covered the gamut of hot topics facing each community including land use policy, transportation and housing.  It also provided updates on some of the most interesting real estate developments currently underway. Each program featured local government and business leaders who shared what they are doing to leverage their advantages, solve their toughest issues and make their cities and developments more attractive to corporate occupiers.

San Jose

First up was the San Jose event on July 21st.  The session was held at the Tech Museum of Innovation in the heart of the city’s downtown. The Honorable Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose greeted CoreNet attendees and an enthusiastic welcome.  Teresa Alvarado, Director of SPUR San Jose moderated a panel which included: Nancy Klein, Deputy Director of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development, Mike Bangs, Vice President, Real Estate and Facilities at Oracle and President of CoreNet Northern California and Leyla Heydayat, Senior Vice President at Kimley-Horn

Alvarado set the stage for the discussion by referencing the regional plan called “Plan Bay Area”, which is a state mandated, integrated, long range transportation land-use and housing plan adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).  The plan focuses on growth within the existing footprint of the Bay Area and identifies Priority Development Areas (PDAs), one of which is San Jose.

Key points Alvarado shared included:

·      San Jose’s population is predicted to grow by 400,000 people in the next 20 years, far more than any other city.

·      The current general plan “Envision SJ 2040” focuses on urban growth along transit and other special growth areas.

·   San Jose is planning to expand its Diridon Station to become the busiest transit station West of the Mississippi, including the Transbay Terminal.

·   The City has come out of a long period of financial struggle, yet is still working on developing the revenue needed to support its growth.

·      San Jose needs to create a community of urbanists

Alvarado asked a series of questions regarding the benefits of locating in San Jose.  Here is a summary of the panelists’ key points regarding what makes San Jose attractive:


·      Large and well educated talent pool

·      Business friendly

·      Authentic, walkable and transit oriented

·      Diversity

·      Range of housing price points

·      Special tenant improvement program which consists of a range of expedited services to get plans approved in one hour


·      Excellent transit

·      It is easier to get in and out of the San Jose airport than San Francisco

·      Proximity and access to City government

·      San Jose State University is an excellent source for talent and continuing education


·      BART extension to Santa Clara and San Jose, opening up in the Fall of 2017 consisting of a two station, $2 Billion project.

·      VTA is revamping the transportation system to maximize it

·      Diridon will bring a “ring around the Bay” linking in with CalTrain and High Speed Rail


The second event was on August 18th at SPUR’s office in downtown Oakland.  Robert Ogilvie, Director of SPUR Oakland moderated a panel which included Rachel Flynn, Director of Planning and Building, City of Oakland, Kennard Perry, President and CEO at The Swig Company, David Kirkland, Director of Sales at Comfy and Terry Wood, Vice President of Real Estate at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

Ogilvie gave an overview of key points regarding what makes downtown Oakland attractive:

·      It is at the center of the Bay Area rail network

·      Almost all of downtown is within ½ a mile from BART

·      Every single BART train goes through downtown and there are more bus lines than downtown San Francisco

·      It has become an important social, economic and cultural center

·      Crime statistics show it has fewer violent crimes than San Francisco

·      40 acres of development sites on parking lots without buildings on them

·      It offers unparalleled transit oriented development opportunities

Ogilvie shared that SPUR worked with the City to create development guidelines which include:

1. Welcome everyone

2. Maintain a mix of jobs, residents, nightlife and cultural activities, while facilitating economic growth

3. Retain and strengthen its history, culture and character as it grows

4. Generate taxes that support services and investment across the rest of the city

5. Be a place where walking, biking and taking transit are easy and safe

6. Be a place that not only improves Oakland, but also improves the Bay Area

Flynn started her brief presentation by saying, “In case you are wondering why we are “superior” to San Francisco, we are cooler and hotter!”  She touted Uber and a number of other significant corporate users recently locating in Oakland and that the city currently has 20,000 housing units in development.  Flynn then shared a detailed look at the downtown plan that the City has in the works.  “Believe it or not,” she said.  “It is the first downtown plan in the City’s history.”  In the community input phase, the plan incorporates a large number of transit oriented development sites and a strong focus on retail to help the City meet its goal of reclaiming its status as the shopping hub of the East Bay.

Flynn gave an overview of the areas they are currently studying and some projects that are currently underway including:

·      West Oakland

·      The Lake Merritt / Chinatown BART Specific Plan

·      Broadway / Valdez – already has 750 units of retail under construction

·      The International Boulevard corridor (which includes bus rapid transit (BRT)

·      The Central Estuary

·      Coliseum City

·      Brooklyn Basin

·      The Oakland Army Base

Key Points from the panel included:


·      The Swig Company has been interest in Oakland since 2005 when they bought the Kaiser Center

·      “The City staff is incredible. They are open and receptive and seeks input from developers which is unheard of”


·      Kaiser has four million square feet in downtown Oakland

·      The company has a major commitment to Oakland will never leave


·      Comfy was founded by two Cal grads and started in a home in the Rockbridge district of Oakland

·      The East Bay is an overlooked hub of creative, technical and business talent.

·      It is important to them to be in a part of a growing and thriving community like Oakland

San Francisco

Finally, the San Francisco session was on September 15th at Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ new waterfront laboratory / office development 499 Illinois.   Allison Arieff, Director of SPUR San Francisco helped organize the program which focused on revitalization of the Southern Bay Shore. Arieff recently lead a year long project called Rethinking the Corporate Campus which will be coming out in early 2017.  She moderated a panel which included Josh Switzky, Urban Designer and Manager of Community Planning at the San Francisco Planning Department, David Beaupre, Senior Waterfront Planner at the Port of San Francisco, Andy Wang, Development Manager, Forest City Development, Guneet Anand, Urban Designer at SITELAB Urban Studio.

Switzky gave a thoughtful presentation on the Southern Bayfront area.  With its a strong industrial legacy, the Southern Bayfront is the last frontier of the San Francisco waterfront.  In his view, it is perhaps the most dramatic change that the City has seen or will see in many years to come.  “We are engaged as a City Family creating a holistic planning framework,” he said. “It is a massive collaboration between the Planning Department, the Office of Economic & Workforce Development, the Port, the Recreation and Park department, the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure and the Municipal Transportation Agency.”

Switzky gave an overview of the various projects that will make their way through the planning department over the next two to three years including:

·      Mission Rock

o   20-acre site which is currently home to the Giants parking lot A

·      The Central Waterfront

o   Pier 70

o   Potrero Power plant Site

·      India Basin

o   Heron’s Head open space

o   PG&E site

o   700 Innes – Build Inc’s development

o   India Basin Shoreline Park Expansion

Switzky addressed the key issues of the plan addresses:

·      Building Affordable Housing

o   33% below market units

o   40% neighborhood preference program totally 2,000 affordable units for local residents.

·      Adapting to Sea Level Rise

o   Sea levels predicted to rise by 36 inches by 2100

o   Major new waterfront developments will incorporate innovative adaptive management

·      Addressing Transportation Demand

o   Key intermodal connectors

o   16th Street Ferry Terminal

o   CalTrain extension

o   Rapid Bus Corridors

o   Light Rail Fleet Expansion

·      Achieving a Robust “Blue Greenway” Open Space System

o   World class “necklace” of waterfront parks

o   520 acres of new and renovated public open space

o   Inclusive of current residents

o   Connectivity to and between open space network

o   Unified management strategy

·      Fostering Sustainability

o   High level of sustainability required

o   Opportunity to do district scale recycled water and energy

·      Community Facilities

·      Economic and Workforce Development

o   Live / work

o   Blue collar jobs

Beaupre delved into greater detail about the Port’s projects, Mission Rock and Pier 70.

·      Mission Rock – Beaupre shared renderings site plan which highlighted:

o   20 acres

o   1.3 million square feet of office space

o   250,000 square feet of retail space

o   1,500 residential units

o   8 acres of open space

o   Currently going through EIR

o   Flexible plan – could go more residential or commercial

·      Pier 70

o   Crane Cove Park

o   BAE Ship Repair – Longest continuously operating shipyard in US

o   Historic Core - Orton Development (Leases signed with Restoration Hardware and Tea Collective)

o   Irish Hill site

o   Waterfront Site – Forest City Development

Wang and Amend concluded the session with an overview of the work done to date on the Pier 70.  The development which began in 2008, is currently in the environmental review phase.  Highlights included:

·      Three major elements which make it unique

o   Dogpatch community – diversity of uses – creative and eclectic

o   Newly accessible waterfront

o   Rich historic district – 18,000 workers in 1945

·      Community outreach process

o   Wide variety of events

o   Opportunity to reengage with the site

o   Remind people of the rich history

o   Introduce community to the waterfront

·      Incorporating community input into design principles

o   Network of open spaces culminating in expansive waterfront park

o   Extension of the city grid to the water

o   Creation of mixed-use creative core celebrating historical cultural assets

o   Extension of waterfront park to draw in and meet historic building 12

o   Creation of pedestrian priority zone with active uses along building faces

o   Design 1.69 square feet of commercial space around pedestrian experience

o   Incorporate inviting storefronts

o   Select materials compatible with historic quality of the site

Check out the link below to our Facebook page to see photos from the event:



Young Leaders Update CAP Student Profile: Valeria Beljaeva

Ms. Beljaeva is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance at Hult International Business School in San Francisco. She will be graduating at the end of April 2017.  Originally from Russia, Ms. Beljaeva was born in Kyrgyzstan, grew up in Belgium and speaks Russian, Dutch and English. She spent a year studying in London, before relocating to San Francisco. This Summer, she interned at Gensler as part of the CoreNet Apprenticeship Program and shared a few of her observations regarding her experience.

1. What was the greatest value for you in participating in the CAP program?

Not only did I get to work with one of the biggest architecture/design firms, I also learned a great deal about the different sides and paths in real estate. The CoreNet events are very valuable because they allow students to get personal and first hand insights from people in the industry.  

2. What was the biggest learning experience of your internship?

During my internship I had the opportunity to rotate between three departments; firm-wide finance, the global department and administration. It was really interesting to see how everything comes together and the importance of every single department. Apart from these, I would say that my biggest learning experience was being able to learn how global accounts are set up and managed.

3. How did the experience match with your expectations?  Meet, exceed?

Gensler is a great company, and the people were amazing. They treated me more like a full fledged employee than an intern, more like a true team member. They handed me so much responsibility and exposed me to so many more opportunities than I expected. So, all in all, my experience with Gensler was extremely enriching!

4. What would you tell your fellow students considering becoming a CAP intern?

I think it is a great program!  It is really important to gain as much experience as possible, and the program gives students exactly that.  I have learned so much in my degree program.  However, I learned so much more while actually doing the work on the job. The CoreNet Apprenticeship Program gives students a great deal of exposure to the industry and facilitates the opportunity to use your education in the 'real' world.

5.  Did the fact that you have international experience and speak several languages come in handy?

Knowing cultural differences does really come in handy when dealing with global projects. Speaking a different language did give me an advantage when I was doing research for a project in the Netherlands, since some information was only available in Dutch.   

6. Additional comments?

I would really like to thank everyone that made this happen.


CoreNet NorCal Looking for Social Media Volunteer

The CoreNet NorCal communications committee is looking for a Chapter member volunteer to join our committee and help us with our social media presence, including on LinkedIn and Facebook.  If you are interested, please contact Ted Klaassen, at tklaassen@buchalter.com.

Request for New CoreNet NorCal Committee Members

Get more involved in CoreNet NorCal! One of the best ways to increase your involvement and really get to know other members of CoreNet NorCal is by joining a committee. The CoreNet committees create and organize the events, meetings, programs and publications that you enjoy. Committees you can join are: Young Leaders, Special Events, Programs, Membership, Community Reinvestment, Communications, and Technology. All of our committees are looking for volunteers. If you are interested in joining a committee, please contact our Administrative Director, Michelle Lagos, at michelle.lagos@cbre.com or (415) 720-0366, and she will connect you with a committee.



As a member of our local Northern California Chapter we are excited to introduce to you the 2016 Scholarship Program. Many of our members don't have the benefit of receiving financial support to attend meetings outside of the Bay Area or to pursue the MCR/SLCR designation. As a way to help you with your continuing education needs and professional growth, the NorCal 2016 Scholarship Program will help fund scholarships towards each of the following four activities:

  • One End-User Global Summit Registration (may be used towards the 2016 Summit) Up to $1,245

  • One Service Provider Global Summit Registration (towards 2016 Summit) Up to $1,595

  • MCR/SLCR or Leading Courses End-User (For 2 members towards 2016) Up to $950

  • MCR/SLCR or Leading Courses Service Provider (For 2 members towards 2016) Up to $950


The 2016 Scholarship Program is open to all NorCal members that do not get reimbursed and would benefit from attending a Summit, or earning the MCR/SLCR designation, or taking courses in CoreNet's Leadership Development Program. No preferences will be given and scholarship information submitted will remain confidential.

Scholarship applications are due October 12!  

To apply, fill out the brief application here!


For more information, visit the following links:

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