San Ramon completes $6.1 million sale of old city hall site

Investment firm OBI to relocate HQ to Camino Ramon property, lease out other buildings

The city of San Ramon completed its sale of the old city hall site Monday, formally closing escrow on the transaction to sell the four parcels on Camino Ramon to private investment firm OlymBuilder Investment Company, Inc. for $6.1 million.

The sale proceeds will be used to fund the ongoing renovation project at the San Ramon Library, which is located across Bollinger Canyon Road from the new, two-story San Ramon City Hall that opened in late April.

"The City Council is very pleased that the growth in San Ramon's commercial real estate market allowed us to fund the majority of our newly renovated library through a one-time revenue event." Mayor Bill Clarkson said in a statement.

"Over a 12-month period, we were able to open a new City Hall, sell our old City Hall and open what is essentially a new library, all of it without taking on new debt for the community," Clarkson added.

OlymBuilder Inc. (OBI) plans to renovate the single-story office buildings at the old city hall site (2220, 2222, 2226 and 2228 Camino Ramon) and then relocate its company headquarters to one of the buildings and lease out the other spaces to small start-up companies, according to real estate agent Jameel Batshon, of Dublin-based Cornerstone Realtors, who represented the buyer.

OBI is a private investment company that specializes in education, real estate, import-export, recreation and high-tech investments, according to Batshon.

The firm stepped in to acquire the property after the city's first purchase agreement with another buyer fell out of escrow, according to Eric Figueroa, San Ramon's assistant city manager. That first prospective buyer has not been identified publicly.

San Ramon city staff originally placed the four Camino Ramon parcels on the sale market in January, roughly four months before officials moved San Ramon's city offices into the new, state-of-the-art, 45,000-square-foot City Hall at 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.

Home to San Ramon's city offices since the mid-1980s, the Camino Ramon office complex had outgrown its usefulness and had always been planned as a temporary site for city hall, according to city officials.

The new City Hall was built for the city for $15 million by Bishop Ranch owner Sunset Development Co. on a portion of the city's Central Park. The construction deal covered an outstanding loan on a piece of land Sunset Development acquired from the city and the price under an option it had to re-acquire another piece of property from the city, according to company officials.

The modern, two-story building is located across the street from the San Ramon Library at 100 Montgomery St., which has been closed for renovations since August 2015.

The library upgrades include adding about 3,200 square feet of interior space along with new study rooms, automated self-checkout and return machines, more space for children and designated quiet reading areas for adults.

With the renovation construction on track to be completed in December, the revamped library is set to open to the public next March, according to Figueroa.

San Ramon city officials hope the new City Hall and upgraded library will serve as part of a vibrant community hub in the area that also includes Central Park, the Community Center, the Bishop Ranch business park, the Iron Horse Regional Trail and the site of Sunset's planned City Center at Bishop Ranch retail, residential and commercial complex.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 2, 2016 at 10:06 am

If I'm reading this correctly, the city paid $15 mil to build it, and sold it for $6.1 mil, for a loss of about $9 million.

What other property in the whole bay area lost over 50% of it's value in 20+ years? If those are the investments SR makes, who is watching the books?

4 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 2, 2016 at 10:59 am

You are confusing two different pieces of property. The old city hall property was sold for 6.1 million. The new city hall on Bollinger Canyon, valued at 15.0 million, was built by Sunset Development and paid for by the city with a land swap and cancellation of a debt owed to the city by Sunset.

The proceeds from the city land sale was applied to the cost to renovate the library. If you follow this you will see that the city has a brand new city hall and a renovated library without any new debt to the city. That is good management of fiscal funds and the city leaders should be congratulated, not criticized as you seem to be doing.

5 people like this
Posted by CriticalThinker
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 2, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Transparency is completely lacking in San Ramon's land for new city hall deal.

What was the fair market value of the land that was owned by the city and sold to Sunset Development? This means the fair market value determined by an independent appraiser for this land, not assessed value by the county, not some "invented" valuation by a previous city manager or city council. There is a fiduciary's responsibility to state this land value to the residents in clear terms; this is a number, call it "A".

What is the fair value of the new city hall, as determined by independent audit of construction cost. This is a number, not some invented unaudited stated price. There is a fiduciary's responsibility to state this city hall value to the residents in clear terms; this is a number, call it "B".

What is the solution to A - B = ?. In other words, what is the difference in dollars between the land sold dollar value & dollar value of the new city hall. It would be an incredible coincidence it the land value equaled the city hall value. Reiterating, the valuations need to be independently audited, otherwise it is simply whatever the city of San Ramon "says" it is.

2 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 4, 2016 at 7:31 am

There was no lack of transparency in the costs and value of the new city hall.

Sunset Development had an option on both of the parcels. The terms were spelled out in the option contract when the parcels were transferred to the city decades ago. The city and Sunset Development followed the terms of that contract when the parcels were transferred back. That value was $15.1 million.

Sunset Development was chosen to construct city hall. The cost of construction of the city hall was $15.1 million. The city contracted with a value engineering company to evaluate the construction costs. They confirmed the costs for the new city hall. City staff reviewed the construction contracts to ensure that Sunset Development spent at least $15.1 million on the new city hall. Sunset spent over $15.1 million but not much over. They chose to put in a more attractive railing for the rotunda stairs and balcony.

You would know this if you read the city council agenda and the staff reports. ALL of this information was published at the time. You can still go to the website and review those documents.

4 people like this
Posted by CT
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 4, 2016 at 5:25 pm

"terms of the contract"-----------what terms?
"that (land)value---$15.1MM"----------------------how determined? (A)
"cost of new city hall $15.1 MM"------------------ " " (B)

There simply is no transparency here & the fact that A = B is an incredible coincidence to the point of being unbelievable. Just who's doing the books here anyway, guess we know who.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 5, 2016 at 9:00 am

If you really believe that something illegal was done you have an OBLIGATION to do something about it beyond writing in this forum.
I can think of 4 options for you:
1. Go to city hall and get the facts from the city manager, city attorney and the finance director.
2. Run for city council in 2 years and get the "real" facts from the inside.
3. Report your suspicion to the Contra Costa County DA and have them investigate.
4. Report you suspicion to the Public Corruption Division of the FBI and have them investigate.

I guess there is one other thing you can do. You can make uninformed claims on a website that only a few hundred people read.

Put up or shut up.

6 people like this
Posted by CT
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Neither the city of S.R. nor you have publicly provided factual information ref above, you and the city seem to rely on the unfortunate reality that only 20% bother to vote in local elections, & the city council, mayor, & city manager know they can get away not listening to people that bother to speak at a city council meeting.

To you and the city, the electorate needs to be openly provided this information.

6 people like this
Posted by CT
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm

To Steve: I made no comment that anything illegal transpired, you brought up illegality. No "uninformed claims" were brought up. The city of San Ramon simply lacks transparency and has a fiduciary responsibility to clearly inform the residents exactly all details of the S.R. City Hall deal with Sunset development. An individual resident should not have to become essentially an investigative reporter to get this information out into the open.

2 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 7, 2016 at 8:10 pm

SHale is a registered user.

CT: Just curios: do you attend City Council or Planning Commission meetings on a regular basis?

Like this comment
Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

Now with all of this enrichment, resurface many streets in San Ramon which are in sore need of repair, like Aptos Way, looks like a third world streets. lots of pieces missing, broken, falling out, and badly cracked PLUS VERY THING INITIAL INSTALLATION.

1 person likes this
Posted by Ralph
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 14, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Aptos will be repaired sometime between July and October 2017.

You could have called the city to find out this information instead of whining on this website that city staff doesn't read.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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