County eyeing new office tower

Riverside County is in negotiations to buy the 10-story Regency Tower currently under construction in downtown Riverside. If the sale goes as planned, the privately-developed building will house the District Attorney’s office, which is currently scattered in as many as 10 offices around town.

Aug. 2008
Regency Tower
Orange at Tenth streets

Though the reported purchase price of $128 million will no doubt save the county money relative to last year’s $216 million proposal for a new DA office building, the cost to Riverside could be significant. The city would lose new high-end office space aimed at attracting more professional clientele downtown. It would also mean lost property taxes for the city as government buildings are typically off the tax rolls.

With or without the purchase by the county, however, the city is likely to see more office buildings constructed as local real estate experts say demand is high for Class A office space downtown:

Dain Fedora, client services manager in the Ontario office of Grubb & Ellis, said it’s not possible to quantify the demand, but the numerous courthouses, restaurants, a large employment base and freeway access all make downtown Riverside highly attractive for law firms and other businesses that need office space.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – September 4, 2008

In fact, developer Moshe Silagi — who is building Regency Tower on spec — says the sale may spur another building of his downtown. This comes on the heels of a recent proposal by another developer for a $40 million, 6-story office building at the corner of University Avenue and Lime Street, on the former Brown’s Engine site adjacent to the 91 Freeway.



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  1. I was kind of worried about this too, but after I thought about it for a bit, I came to the conclusion that they weigh almost the same. Although I’m starting to think that the county purchase might have the edge…

    If the County buys it….

    – The county saves money
    – Lower county taxes
    – Silagi will most likley invest into another project sooner as a replacement projcet to bring Class A office space to Downtown
    – If Mark Rubin’s project gets approved soon, Class A office space still won’t be too far off.

    If it stays in the hands of Silagi…

    – Businesses/Groups will have excellent Class A ofice space now.
    – Riverside will be getting more tax revenue sooner during this hurting economy
    – The county will still need the new DA building and will probably build one of similar size to Regency tower

    I almost see it simplified to an issue of whether or not Riverside will get new Class A office space now, or later.

    I don’t think Rubin’s choice for his project is affected by either decision, although the timing of his project will benefit businesses in search of space if Regency Tower is sold to the county. Silagi may be thinking of building another project regardless of his decision to sell Regency Tower, but I believe the chances of him doing so will be higher and sooner if he sells the building to the county. Plus, as nice as Regency Tower is looking to be, I wouldn’t mind Silagi heading another project, especially if it is at this same caliber. 🙂

  2. (Pub: Sep. 15 2008)
    Jason, a nice assessment of the possibilities. We too think there’s a good chance that if the County buys the building, it will likely spur other Class A office projects. Thus, in the long run, it likely would be a win-win situation for both the City and County (not too mention the taxpayers).

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