A team of Colliers International investment brokers has negotiated the $18.5 million landmark sale of the never-before-listed Bancroft Center adjacent to the campus of UC Berkeley on land many observers believe is the most valuable property ever sold for a future mixed-use development in the entire City of Berkeley.

Colliers’ Frank Wheeler, Brandon Geraldo, Tony Crossley and Tim Maas comprised the team that represented owner and seller of the property, Bancroft Center Company. Located at 2580 Bancroft Way, the center was purchased by Athens, Georgia-based Landmark Properties, one of the foremost developers and managers of high-quality off-campus student housing in the nation.

As currently configured, the Center houses nine retail tenants that serve the student population and residents of neighborhoods near the university. It also is the site of the Julia Morgan-designed Fred Turner Building, a city-designated landmark, which will be preserved in any future development.

“This is, without a doubt, the most significant mixed-use site to be sold in Berkeley in the last 10 years,” said Wheeler.  “The fact that this long-sought-after property received significant interest and offers from local private investors, foreign capital as well as national multi-family developers, is indicative of the tremendous potential for the property.”

 A city-sponsored feasibility study conducted on the property projected development of a multi-level mixed-use project with up to 132 apartment units combined with approximately 21,000 square feet of saleable commercial retail space. 

 “Buyers are paying a premium for well-located sites like this even without entitlements,” said Geraldo. “That fact, and with the city studying higher and better uses for such under-utilized properties, places this sale in the vanguard of what could be a growing trend toward higher-density development to serve the growing student and residential populations.”

This was a combined office effort for Colliers, with both its Oakland and San Francisco offices coordinating the marketing and eventual sale of the property. Geraldo is based in the firm’s Oakland office, while Wheeler, Crossley and Maas are all based in the firm’s San Francisco brokerage operation.