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Former 'Stonehenge' office park in Natomas completed and full

By Ben van der Meer - Sacramento Business Journal
October 7, 2020

The formerly stalled North Natomas office development known derisively as "Stonehenge" has wrapped up, more than a decade after hitting hard times.

This year, two firms bought the last two available office buildings in Natomas Pointe on Advantage Way, while a third is fully leased by another company.

"We had buyers or a tenant for every building before it was done," said Scott Bennett of Colliers International, who helped broker the project on behalf of owner and developer Tower Investments LLC of Woodland. "Times were different."

In the most recent sale, the Peace Officers Research Association of California bought two-story, 20,000-square-foot 2940 Advantage Way for $3.63 million last month, according to property records. Earlier this year, 2960-NP LLC, which has the same address as PORAC on Truxel Way in North Natomas, bought 2960 Advantage Way for $9.09 million, according to records.

A message left with the association was not returned. Tenant improvements appear to be underway for both buildings. Bennett said he believes the two buyers are connected but aren't the same entity.

Tower Investments, which bought the Natomas Pointe site while Natomas was under a building moratorium, referred inquiries to Bennett. Another 20,000-square-foot building, at 2951 Benefit Way, is leased to a corporate tenant Bennett said he could not identify, though city records show tenant improvements there for a medical office.

Once Tower began actively building out the site three years ago, Bennett said, buyers and potential tenants kept coming out of the woodwork. As health insurance company Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) moves into a West Coast campus nearby, the interest has continued, he said.

"There's a lot going on in that little zone," he said. But Bennett said there's also been interest in a similar project he represented in Elk Grove, also completed now.

"This is not uncommon. There's not a lot of product for owner-users to buy," he said, adding that he wishes he had more projects like Natomas Pointe to show.

Such an outcome seemed unlikely a decade ago, when the unfinished office buildings at Natomas Pointe were a visual reminder of the Great Recession and got the "Stonehenge" nickname from residents.

Those buildings also were testament to the real estate meltdown of investor Abe Alizadeh, who had Natomas Pointe, then Natomas Crossings III, among his projects when the moratorium stopped all work in 2008. The moratorium, imposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency because of flood risk in Natomas, was lifted in 2015 after levees protecting the area were repaired.

Alizadeh filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and many of his properties across the region fell into foreclosure, before he eventually pleaded guilty to federal charges of bank fraud.

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