SAN JOSE. The large plot in northern San Jose, which houses Lowe’s hardware store, is now fully controlled by a developer who is considered an innovator due to the firm’s penchant for unusual renovation projects.
In separate property purchases this year, most recently just a few days ago, subsidiary Orton Development bought about 13.3 acres of land near Interstate 880 and Brokaw Road, according to filings with the Santa Clara County Registrar.
According to county records, Emeryville-based Orton now owns all of the land under Lowe’s Hardware, as well as the adjoining retail buildings near Ridder Park Drive.
Orton Development paid $ 55.6 million for real estate, including deals in May and November of this year, according to county documents.
When purchased in May 2021, Orton subsidiary 775 Ridder Park Drive paid $ 41.8 million for the land under Lowe’s site. On November 16, Orton Lake Natoma Associates subsidiary paid $ 13.8 million for several small parcels, including a retail building now rented by DaVita Silicon Valley Dialysis.
The seller in the deal a few days ago was Peter Poe, a prominent Bay Area developer. The recent deal was arranged by David Thaksin, a partner at commercial real estate firm Meacham / Oppenheimer.
“Orton are very innovative and forward-looking in their projects,” Thaksin said. “Orton has some very interesting projects.”
Notable redevelopments in the Bay Area that Orton owns include:
– Ford Point in Richmond. A former Ford Motor vehicle assembly plant, Ford Point is almost entirely leased to renters such as SunPower, Columbia Sportswear and Ekso Bionics and includes a restaurant with scenic views of the bay.
– Auckland Civic in Auckland. The historic site of the former Auckland Auditorium and Calvin Simmons Theater is being renovated. It will be converted into commercial space, as well as office space, rehearsal space and performance space for local artists, creators and performers.
– Flint ink at Berkeley. The former ink factory building has been renovated and now has tenants, including two wineries, a solar power company and a printing house.
– Contra Costa Industrial Park in Pittsburgh. A former US Steel foundry, the complex is now a multipurpose industrial hub that BART and SF Muni use to build and repair railroad cars.
“Orton made a smart purchase of the property on the Ridder Park site,” said Bob Steadler, chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use consulting company. “There has been ongoing interest over the years in strategically located properties in North San Jose.”
According to Thaksin, the site cannot be replanned right away, as the main tenant – Lowe’s – previously received the land on lease for several years. However, over the next few years, the site could become a major refurbishment project, Thaksin said.
“In theory, it could be rebuilt in the next few years, depending on what happens to the Lowe lease,” Thaksin said.