Bob Shallit

Big investor buys Sacramento and Auburn buildings

A national investment company has purchased two large Sacramento-area properties as part of a huge acquisition of bank-owned real estate in California.

Colony Realty Partners, a division of Colony Capital, last week completed the purchase of 11 properties, including a Class A office building at 1750 Howe Ave., near Arden Way, and a business park with nearly 200,000 square foot in several buildings in Auburn.

“This is one more example of folks outside the area recognizing the value of a steadily improving (Sacramento) market and deploying significant capital here,” said Randy Getz, an executive vice president with CBRE who was part of a multi-office team that handled the transaction for the seller, Bank of America.

These are the only current local investments for CRP, which was founded in 2005 and has spent $4.5 billion building its U.S. portfolio, according to its website.

Besides the buildings in this area, the BofA portfolio included properties in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire, Getz said. The entire portfolio has a combined 1.45 million square feet of space.

The Howe property is a 186,000-square-foot office building that’s less than 30 percent occupied, Getz said. He called it a high-quality building that will fill up with an attentive owner because “the tenants are out there.”

The three Auburn buildings make up the Auburn Airport Business Park and are now completely vacant.

Mystery solved (sort of)

We have some of the answers to a lingering Land Park mystery: What’s the name and focus of the new restaurant being built at the site of a Crepe Escape that was razed by a fire more than two years ago?

Turns out it’s going to be called Meet and Eat and will have a mix of locally sourced menu options. The opening date? That’s still not certain. And a beer and wine license application for the place is still pending.

Behind the venture are Rafi Rozbahani and Viola Nabi, who also own the popular Cafe Dantorels in Curtis Park. Neither has been available for comment on the new venture in recent months.

But employees at Dantorels have been giving out some information to customers, including the name of the new restaurant at 3445 Freeport Blvd.

One employee, who asked not to be identified, said the new place will have a “European” feel with a smaller menu than Dantorels and will provide full service at dinner as opposed to the counter service offered at the Curtis Park location.

Several months ago, Nabi said the new place – then unnamed – would “focus on healthy food – locally sourced meat and produce, organic products and protein shakes.”

At the time, she briefly discussed the challenge of rehabbing a building that was little more than a shell.

“It will be built back from scratch,” she said, with a contemporary look that sets it apart from many other area businesses.

As the 2,500-square-foot building nears completion, with a distinctive cedar facade and cedar trellises, that seems an accurate description.

Driving for dollars

Organizers of last weekend’s inaugural celebrity reception and golf tourney at Del Paso Country Club say the event was a great success – and will only get better in years to come.

Close to $30,000 was raised for two local nonprofits at the two-day event, which had local business people and others rubbing shoulders and golfing with about two dozen celebs.

City Councilman Allen Warren, whose New Faze Development sponsored the event, said Cedric the Entertainer and actors Danny Glover and Richard Roundtree were big hits with the crowd. Of Roundtree, he said, “he was just as cool as he was in the movie ‘Shaft.’ ”

With L.A.-based Hammond Entertainment signed on to also produce next year’s event, the list of notables is likely to grow. Among those already being targeted: sports greats Julius Erving and Barry Bonds.