Donald A. Promnitz" />

The new AT&T U-verse campus at Olive and Clovis avenues in Fresno sold for $9.5 million, making it the region’s top commercial deal for 2020, according to Business Journal research. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz

published on January 29, 2021 - 2:13 PM
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Real estate remained a busy and profitable industry during the pandemic, but the biggest sales of 2020 paled in comparison to the previous year.

To put this in context, the largest transaction of 2020 came in at $9.5 million. This transaction — made by Cushman & Wakefield Pacific Commercial Realty Advisors in Fresno — was for a 121,575-square-foot office at 5555 E. Olive Ave. The AT&T campus rests on 9.7 acres near the Fresno Yosemite International Airport at Olive and Clovis avenues.

The office — comprised of of two buildings — was 94% leased, according to the listing. It was built in 1984.

The deal is No. 1 on The Business Journal’s annual list of Largest Commercial Real Estate Transactions, as reported by area real estate brokers.

Agent Tony Cortopassi made the sale.

“The overall price was just indicative of the size of the property,” he said.

It’s a high sum until one considers the $18.2 million spent for the Rancho San Miguel Market in 2019. Located in the Madera Crossroads Shopping Center, it was the biggest commercial real estate transaction of that year — nearly twice the size of the AT&T purchase. Agent Mark Henry of Colliers International brokered the Ranch San Miguel deal.

In fact, 2020’s biggest transaction falls behind the previous list’s fourth place deal. In total, the top 10 commercial deals of 2019 raked in more than $92.5 million. This year, that number went down to $61.5 million.

However, this could simply be due to a slowly recovering real estate market —something being felt nationally and internationally. According to a November article published by Bloomberg, U.S. office prices have continued to fall at a 1% annual rate through October. This came from a report by Real Capital Analytics. They also reported a year-over-year slide in office prices by 1.6%.

Cortopassi, on the other hand, believes the lower prices have a simpler explanation.

“It’s a matter of timing,” he said. “A lot of our big properties don’t trade often because they’re held by owners who don’t like to sell often.”

The second-highest transaction in the San Joaquin Valley was in Tulare County. In Dinuba, Newmark Pearson Commercial sold 68,600 square feet of retail space anchored by the Tropicana Supermarket. The transaction brokered by Troy McKenney and Craig Holdener came in at $9.2 million.

This Dinuba shopping center was the second-highest commercial deal of 2020, according to Business Journal research.

Newmark Pearson also holds the third place spot for a $6.3 million transaction made by Ethan Smith and Ron Stoltenberg on 34 acres of land in Clovis. This rests on East Barstow Avenue, just south of Enterprise Canal.

Newmark Pearson also holds the third place spot for a $6.3 million transaction made for 34 acres of land in Clovis.

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