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Gemdale to lease SF space to Amazon's Twitch unit

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-08-03 11:07

Chinese real estate developer Gemdale's first project in the US has won a contract from the video game streaming company Twitch to lease a new office tower in San Francisco's Financial District.

Twitch, acquired by Amazon in 2014, signed the lease for 185,000 square feet at 350 Bush Street, which is San Francisco's third largest office lease year to date after Fitbit's 310,000-square-foot deal at 215 Fremont Street and Lyft's 206,000-square-foot sublease from Dropbox at 185 Berry Street, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

The landlord and the tenant reportedly had been in talks since last year. Twitch will occupy almost half of the building - the second through ninth floors - in the 19-story building, which is expected to open next year. The current headquarters of Twitch is a few blocks from the new building.

The Shanghai-listed Gemdale Corp and Dallas-based US developer Lincoln Property Co formed a joint venture in 2014 to develop 350 Bush Street, a 19-story, 372,000-square-foot Class A office tower, and 500 Pine Street, a five-story, 56,000-square-foot office/retail development in San Francisco. Both plots are located in the heart of the North Financial District.

The 350 Bush Street building is designed to incorporate the historic terra cotta facade and columns of the iconic San Francisco Mining Exchange Building.

Gemdale to lease SF space to Amazon's Twitch unit

A 19-story office tower is being built at 350 Bush Street in San Francisco. The project, which is slated to open next year, is backed by Chinese developer Gemdale Corp.  Congjiang Wang / For China Daily

Since 2013, Gemdale had been following the project before it "locked in prices in advance in the manner of off-market and finally acquired" the property in 2014, according to the company.

The hot demand for office buildings and "continuous declination of vacancy rate" are the major reasons for the investment.

Most office buildings under construction and scheduled for completion in the next four years in the city were leased in advance, Gemdale said.

However, according to the San Francisco Business Times report, the projects are being built without tenants.

In February, Gemdale and Lincoln Property partnered to acquire a property in north San Jose, the center of Silicon Valley, which is approved for four new office buildings with a total space of 415,000 square feet.

The Pasadena, California-based Gemdale USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The San Francisco projects mark Gemdale's first entry into the US, which is part of the company's internationalization strategy following its $350 million bond offering in July 2012, representing the first bond issuance in overseas markets by a domestically listed Chinese real estate company, the company said.

In September 2015, Gemdale entered into a joint venture for a $125 million mixed-use project in Hollywood.

The six-story residential, office and retail complex is located along Hollywood's Western Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard.


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