2051 Palomar Airport Road | Courtesy a representative of Cushman & Wakefield

SteelWave JV Picks Up 209,000-SF Carlsbad Creative Asset

Carrie Rossenfeld Office

A joint venture between SteelWave, LLC and funds managed by Angelo Gordon has purchased a 208,904-square-foot creative-office/R&D campus at 2051 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, California, from Palomar Acquisitions Partners, LLC for an unspecified amount, according to a release from a representative of Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). The release says the single-story, multi-tenant property is situated on more than 13 acres and was approximately 55 percent vacant at the time of sale.

SoCal Real Estate reached out to the rep for the sale price, but the rep declined to provide it.

The source reports that the property was originally developed as a build-to-suit campus for Hughes Aircraft Company in the early 1980s and has undergone a series of renovations over the decades since. The new owner is planning significant interior and exterior upgrades and improved amenities to enhance and modernize the project. In addition, according to the release, SteelWave and Angelo Gordon are launching a full re-brand of the campus that will both honor the property’s history and promote it as a creative environment that will predominantly target tech, biotech, and creative-industry tenants.

Enhancements planned for the campus include a new full-service fitness center, a new bistro with indoor/outdoor seating, contemporary architecture, common areas with gaming and lounge areas, and multiple outdoor patios and workspaces, the release says. Existing features of the property include extensive glass lines for natural light and abundant parking. The property also enjoys convenient accessibility to I-5 and close proximity to McClellan-Palomar Airport.

According to the statement, Aric Starck and Rick Reeder, executive managing directors with C&W in San Diego, represented the seller in the transaction. Reeder is quoted in the release as saying, “A health-and-science tenant in the project recently restructured their real estate needs, resulting in a large block of available space — though the company still maintains a notable presence in the building. This vacancy provides the new owner an excellent opportunity to add value through the repositioning and subsequent lease-up of the newly refurbished spaces, to either mid-size or larger users.”

Starck adds, “Carlsbad is an ideal choice for this type of redevelopment into a lifestyle campus.
Carlsbad has become a hotbed for high-tech, biotech, and medical-device companies that are looking for amenity-rich environments so that they can recruit and retain the top talent. The North County market currently has unmet demand for this type of space and no new coastal sites for future development opportunities of this size or scope.”

Starck also notes that workers are attracted to Carlsbad’s beautiful weather and 7 miles of coastline, which have contributed to “several hundred-thousand square feet of tenant migration in just the past few years. We expect this North County community to remain a key draw for companies wanting to be in Southern California.”

SteelWave has been active in the Southern California creative-office market. As we reported in October, a joint venture between the firm and Goldman Sachs sold The Hive, a 181,822-square-foot, three-building creative-office property at 3333, 3335, and 3337 South Susan in Costa Mesa, California, to Invesco Real Estate, according to a release from a representative of Newmark Knight Frank. The sales price was not provided, but local news sources report that the property sold for $84 million.