Historic Oakland Rotunda Building under contract to be sold

Unconfirmed buyer is said to be Rubicon Point Partners

A photo illustration of 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (LoopNet, iStock)
A photo illustration of 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (LoopNet, iStock)

The historic Rotunda Building in Oakland could soon have a new owner.

Len Epstein, a managing partner for Rotunda Partners II, told the San Francisco Business Times that the building is under contract to be sold. The publication said multiple people said the buyer is San Francisco’s Rubicon Point Partners, a real estate company that invests in office and mixed-use properties.

The seven-story Rotunda Building, at 300 Frank H. Ogawa Way in downtown Oakland, is on the National Register of Historic Places, an official list that was authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The 339,289-square-foot building was built in 1912 and was previously Kahn’s Department Store. It was designed by Charles W. Dickey, the same local architect who designed the Claremont Hotel.

“The interior rotunda is a rare local example of a large-scale publicly accessible Beaux Arts space,” according to the National Register. “The exterior contributes significantly to the historic fabric of downtown Oakland.”

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Almost a decade after it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, Rotunda Partners agreed in 1998 to redevelop the building. The city of Oakland granted a $12 million loan for the building’s seismic retrofit and, once the building sells, the city will receive 50 percent of all proceeds above $38 million.

In July, Rubicon said it had raised $232 million to finance up to $770 million in acquisitions in the Bay Area and northwestern U.S.

“We are looking anywhere in the Bay Area for buildings that contribute to collaboration and innovation in the workplace,” Ani Vartanian, Rubicon’s co-managing partner, told the Business Times in July.

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[SFBT] — Victoria Pruitt