Most of prime downtown block changes hands

08/08/2014 6:19 PM

10/07/2014 8:12 PM

The CEO of a research firm based in suburban Philadelphia on Friday bought most of a block of real estate in downtown Sacramento just a few blocks from the Capitol.

Brokerage firm Colliers International, which handled the sale, said it was the largest purchase of downtown properties by an individual in the past decade.

The 11 purchased properties stretch along the 1200 block of Q Street and the adjacent 1700 block of 12th Street. They include an auto-body shop, five parking lots, a Victorian home and a law office.

The parcels are part of the city’s R Street corridor, a once-gritty warehouse district that’s being redeveloped as a neighborhood of loft housing, restaurants and entertainment venues. It includes a 10-block stretch of R, S and Q streets.

The properties are within walking distance of numerous government buildings and the planned Sacramento Kings basketball arena.

The buyer, Robert Porter, is president and CEO of Research America, a political and marketing research firm based in Newtown Square, Pa. The company has its West Coast headquarters in the 1200 block of Q Street, and Porter said he splits his time between California and Pennsylvania.

He said he plans to leave the block as it is for now, in part to provide parking for his employees, but might consider redeveloping it in four or five years.

“I’m really excited about Sacramento in general and growth here,” Porter said. “It’s a great place to be. It’s a great city.”

The deal closed escrow Friday, said David Herrera, senior vice president with Colliers International, who represented both buyer and seller. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“With the development of the R Street corridor taking off, it will be interesting to see what the new owner decides to do with the properties,” Herrera said in a news release.

The seller was local developer Gyan Kalwani, who declined to comment for this story. He referred questions to Herrera.

Herrera said Kalwani spent 30 years acquiring the properties and had not put them up for sale, but agreed to Porter’s offer. Kalwani plans to use the proceeds to help finance a luxury home subdivision he is building in Elk Grove, Herrera said.

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