Saturday, December 04, 2004

How suite it is ...

Office building attracting many new occupants
By Barbara Smith/Business Writer, The Reporter

The new brick and glass building on the crest of Mason Street in Vacaville illustrates the optimism of at least two local real estate brokers about the future of the industry.

Steve Spencer and Beverly Dorsett, co-owners/brokers of Gateway Realty, will have sunk roughly $3.7 million into the 18,700 square-foot "Class A" building by the time it is fully leased.

Along with Spencer's and Dorsett's real estate brokerage and division Solano Property Management, other businesses - North American Title, Green Valley Mortgage, and CMT Credit Union - have leased suites.

"I've been trying to establish a new location in Vacaville, probably for two years," Spencer said. "I think it's the best spot in Vacaville in terms of proximity to both the freeway and the downtown area, and I'm really high on the downtown area of Vacaville."

The building fills one of the last remaining footprints in the Vacaville redevelopment district, which has been transformed during the past three years with entertainment venues, restaurants, upscale commercial space and a hotel.

Gateway was previously located on Alamo Drive. The new building, which Spencer says is only one of three Class A buildings in Vacaville, does seem to fits a niche on the hill and complements its multi-level neighbors - Sutter Regional Medical Foundation The Hampton Inn & Suites.

The facility was built by Fred Hearn Construction.

Forty of Spencer's some 105 agents will occupy the two new offices comprised of 4,700 square feet with conference and meeting facilities. Just under 3,000 square feet are left to lease, Spencer said.

The recent grand opening of the new offices culminates a year-long office expansion, beginning with the opening of a new office to serve Green Valley and Cordelia on Business Center Drive, and a second new Fairfield office at Hilborn Road and Interstate 80. The Green Valley branch cost about $2.5 million, with about $500,000 for equipment.

Spencer, 54, said opening three new offices in one year has been hectic, but he is confident about the future real estate market.

"A lot of people have been worried that we're in some sort of a real estate bubble, but I don't subscribe to that," he said. "I think as long as houses are unaffordable in the Bay Area, it will drive buyers down here. I expect we'll be somewhat insulated from any leveling or downturn that may occur in real estate. Sales may slow, but I don't see prices declining."

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