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The Sobrato Organization [TSO]
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The Sobrato Organization again among San Francisco Business Times’
“Fab Five” Top Corporate Philanthropists — $22.83M in local cash grants in 2016

July 19, 2017

The Sobrato Organization — funding all giving by the Sobrato Philanthropies — was recognized on Wednesday by the San Francisco Business Times as a Top Corporate Philanthropist, second only to Google’s $50.27M in Bay Area cash grants.

Google and TSO, along with Salesforce, Wells Fargo, Cisco,
PG&E, Chevron, Intel, Bank of America, and Gilian Sciences,
make up the top ten corporate givers to Bay Area organizations. John A. Sobrato, Chairman of TSO, and Kenji Treanor, Director of Strategic Grantmaking, were on hand to accept this recognition at the morning event.

According to the San Francisco Business Times, the top 100 corporate philanthropists in their survey gave a combined $309 million in cash to Bay Area charities and organizations in 2016, and more than $2.4 billion in cash worldwide.

TSO’s generous $10,000 annual per-employee match was among leading programs featured in an article on the growing impact of corporate match programs, and an interview with Sobrato Family Foundation CEO Rick Williams described the family’s top grant recipients, and what new grants were made in the past fiscal year.

Click here for the San Francisco Business Times’ coverage.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal recognizes The Sobrato Organization
as the region’s Top Corporate Philanthropist

 

November 4, 2016

 

– Leads the list for fifth consecutive year

 

– Ranked by cash contributed to local charitable organizations

 

TSO was recognized at last evening’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards hosted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as the top corporate funder to Silicon Valley nonprofits for the fifth year in a row. TSO Chairman John A. Sobrato, and trustee Susan Sobrato were on hand to receive the award. SVBJ celebrates Silicon Valley business support of local nonprofit organizations each year, and also recognized Alphabet / Google Inc., Cisco, SanDisk, and Intel among the top five contributors. Click here for the list of this year’s top givers.

 

In this year’s SVBJ Giving Guide, Sobrato shined a spotlight on key Pathways for Success program grantees–organizations that know effective pathways toward middle-wage employment require building the business case with employers to increase and reconfigure jobs into middle-skill careers, and strengthening links between these employers and relevant-skill training programs.

 

 

TSO named “Developer of the Year” at Structures 2016

 

September 22, 2016

 

The Silicon Valley Business Journal has once again honored key projects and people in Silicon Valley real estate and development at its annual Structures Awards. At this year’s event, The Sobrato Organization was recognized as Developer of the Year.

 

In this week’s SVBJ cover story about TSO, Nathan Donato Weinstein writes that Sobrato has been busy “building in new markets, acquiring development sites up the Peninsula, and keeping planners from Fremont to San Jose to Redwood City busy with ambitious projects—future manufacturing buildings, high-rise apartments and urban-style offices. At the same time, the company has leant its credible voice in the ongoing—and sometimes painful—regional conversation on growth’s ills: Out-of-reach housing costs, worsening traffic and just plain development fatigue…”

 

The article describes several commercial projects underway such as University Square in East Palo Alto and EMC’s 270,000 sf Menlo Park campus, as well as Sobrato’s Arquitectonica-designed residential high-rise coming to downtown San Jose, and the firm’s “sustainability strategy” of mixed-use projects throughout the region.

 

In addition to the new People’s Choice Award (based on instant polling at the event for Morgan Hill’s historic Granada Theatre), three other awards were announced Thursday night: Deal of the Year (Central & Wolfe), Dealmaker of the Year (Steve Horton), and Game Changer (Apple North San Jose Arrival). Sobrato’s Rob Hollister, Chase Lyman, Peter Tsai, Jeff Sobrato, and Robert Tersini were on hand to receive the honor on behalf of TSO.

 

Click here to view the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s full article posted at bizjournals.com, and here to view a pdf of the print issue provided by SVBJ.

 

 

Pictured: Kevin Morris, Robert Tersini, Rob Hollister, Tim Steele and Chase Lyman of The Sobrato Organization. Photograph by Vicki Thompson, Silicon Valley Business Journal.

 

TSO once again among “Fab Five” San Francisco Business Times’
Top Corporate Philanthropists — $27.35M in 2015

 

July 21, 2016

 

With $27.35M given to Bay Area nonprofit organizations in fiscal year 2015, TSO was again recognized as a Top Corporate Philanthropist by the San Francisco Business Times. Second in giving to Google’s $33.16M, TSO, along with Wells Fargo, Chevron, and JPMorgan Chase, gave more than $116 million to local Bay Area nonprofit organizations last year. According to San Francisco Business Times’ Kevin Truong, this “Fab Five” total accounted for nearly half of all reported giving by all companies participating in the survey. (The list of the 80 companies reporting the largest amounts given to our region’s nonprofits is available here.) John A. Sobrato, Chairman of TSO, and Kenji Treanor, Director of Strategic Grantmaking, were on hand to accept the award at the Business Times‘ morning event.

 

According to Truong, the group is “a virtual who’s who of the Bay Area business community” who state “a commitment to corporate philanthropy and community engagement as a core part of their overall business strategy.” Each of the top five givers talked about which issues they’re focused on, and why. Rick Williams, Sobrato Family Foundation CEO, offered the following for TSO: “Everywhere you look, stories of innovation and success in Silicon Valley are held up as the modern-day version of the American Dream. But those of us in the Valley know that the dream is out of reach for many people.

 

“At Sobrato Philanthropies we believe that with so much energy and creativity in this region, we can make it a place where we all have the opportunity to go as far as our talents and tenacity will take us. That’s why we devote our time and energy to supporting organizations promoting access to excellent schools, essential safety-net services and careers that can sustain individuals and families. Recognizing the link between education and economic mobility, we’re working to ensure every student in Silicon Valley has access to a high-quality education.

 

“Our research-based model called Sobrato Early Academic Language, or SEAL, develops the language and literacy skills of hundreds of local English learners and shows a measurable impact on their academic growth and achievement. Sobrato promotes economic opportunity by supporting career pathways to sustainable jobs that allow more people in the Valley to pursue their dreams. And we’re investing in social sector leaders and high-impact nonprofits, by offering leadership training. Our non-profit centers provide rent-free office space to a community of 71 nonprofit organizations and free meeting and conference space, to nonprofit organizations throughout Silicon Valley. We’re honored to support so many amazing organizations working to ensure that everyone in Silicon Valley has the opportunity to drive innovation.”

 
 

Click here for the San Francisco Business Times’ full article.

 

TSO once again among “Fab Five” San Francisco Business Times’
Top Corporate Philanthropists — $27.35M in 2015

 

July 21, 2016

 

With $27.35M given to Bay Area nonprofit organizations in fiscal year 2015, TSO was again recognized as a Top Corporate Philanthropist by the San Francisco Business Times. Second in giving to Google’s $33.16M, TSO, along with Wells Fargo, Chevron, and JPMorgan Chase, gave more than $116 million to local Bay Area nonprofit organizations last year. According to San Francisco Business Times’ Kevin Truong, this “Fab Five” total accounted for nearly half of all reported giving by all companies participating in the survey. (The list of the 80 companies reporting the largest amounts given to our region’s nonprofits is available here.) John A. Sobrato, Chairman of TSO, and Kenji Treanor, Director of Strategic Grantmaking, were on hand to accept the award at the Business Times‘ morning event.

 

According to Truong, the group is “a virtual who’s who of the Bay Area business community” who state “a commitment to corporate philanthropy and community engagement as a core part of their overall business strategy.” Each of the top five givers talked about which issues they’re focused on, and why. Rick Williams, Sobrato Family Foundation CEO, offered the following for TSO: “Everywhere you look, stories of innovation and success in Silicon Valley are held up as the modern-day version of the American Dream. But those of us in the Valley know that the dream is out of reach for many people.

 

“At Sobrato Philanthropies we believe that with so much energy and creativity in this region, we can make it a place where we all have the opportunity to go as far as our talents and tenacity will take us. That’s why we devote our time and energy to supporting organizations promoting access to excellent schools, essential safety-net services and careers that can sustain individuals and families. Recognizing the link between education and economic mobility, we’re working to ensure every student in Silicon Valley has access to a high-quality education.

 

“Our research-based model called Sobrato Early Academic Language, or SEAL, develops the language and literacy skills of hundreds of local English learners and shows a measurable impact on their academic growth and achievement. Sobrato promotes economic opportunity by supporting career pathways to sustainable jobs that allow more people in the Valley to pursue their dreams. And we’re investing in social sector leaders and high-impact nonprofits, by offering leadership training. Our non-profit centers provide rent-free office space to a community of 71 nonprofit organizations and free meeting and conference space, to nonprofit organizations throughout Silicon Valley. We’re honored to support so many amazing organizations working to ensure that everyone in Silicon Valley has the opportunity to drive innovation.”

 
 

Click here for the San Francisco Business Times’ full article.

 

TSO to Complete Downtown San Jose’s Julian Street Campus

 

March 21, 2016

 

– Betting on downtown, building completes River Corporate Center

 

– Top quality Arc Tec Inc. design with modern amenities

 

– Five-minute walk to Diridon Station

 

The Cupertino-based developer turned in plans to the city last week for the six-story, 190,000-square-foot building at 353 Julian St. It would join two other buildings that total about 290,000 square feet. “The intent right now is to build it spec,” or without a tenant in tow, said Chase Lyman, vice president for leasing and acquisitions at Sobrato. “It’s a downtown, urban market, and it’s been gaining a lot of momentum. There’s a lot of residential going up, and you’re a five-minute walk to Diridon Station.”

 

Nathan Donato-Weinstein writes in the Silicon Valley Business Journal that driving this activity is a sense that downtown’s moment has finally arrived. Office vacancy for high-end, or “Class A” space, is at 13.4 percent in the current quarter. That is the lowest it’s been since 2008.

 

According to Rob Hollister, president of real estate for Sobrato, one reason why office rents have not reached higher levels is because downtown office buildings simply haven’t appealed to large tech firms, leaving the submarket to be dominated by professional services companies and smaller startups. That’s why the company commissioned Arc Tec Inc. to redesign the original third building for River Corporate Center with taller ceilings that can accommodate lab-space users, sheathed it in more transparent glass, expanded the floor plates to make them more “collaborative” and added swanky amenities like roof decks with double outdoor fireplaces. “We looked at it and said, we’re going to build something that checks all the boxes for being a top-quality new building today,” Hollister said.

 

Click here for the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s full article.

 

TSO named Top Corporate Philanthropist in Silicon Valley
by the Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

November 6, 2015

 

– Leads the list for fourth consecutive year

 

– Corporate contributions to the Valley continue to climb

 

TSO was recognized at last evening’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards held by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as the top local giver to the Valley for the fourth year in a row. The Sobrato Organization funded $21.92 million in cash grants to local organizations in 2014, a 12.8 percent increase over the year before. Accepting the award, John A. and Sue Sobrato relayed, “Healthy communities and educated children are our best building materials.” According to SVBJ’s Lynn Peithman Stock, the companies on this year’s Corporate Philanthropists List (which ranks the Valley’s top 50 biggest givers based on cash contributions) increased their donations collectively by 2.4 percent this year. Click here for the full story.

 

Sobrato moving forward with downtown San Jose high-rise —
23-story, 399-unit apartment tower at 150 S. Second St

October 19, 2015

 

TSO is kick-starting high-rise development plans on a prime downtown San Jose parking lot, a significant — if still early — show of confidence for the area from one of the region’s most closely watched real estate firms. The Cupertino-based developer turned in preliminary concept Friday, from Miami-based architecture firm Arquitectonica.

 

Nathan Donato-Weinstein writes the project is “the latest entrant to the downtown district’s high-rise pipeline, which is now bursting with proposals.” According to Rob Hollister, TSO’s President of Real Estate, “with the trend that downtown is on — and the success that (other developers are) seeing — I think it will make sense to build it by the time we have the project permitted and ready to go.”

 

Link to renderings and full article by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

University Square construction begins this summer —
209,454 square feet of office space in East Palo Alto

April 17, 2015

 

TSO will start construction this summer on University Square, a 209,454-square-foot office building at 2100 University Ave. Sobrato will build the building on spec, meaning without a tenant signed, said Rob Hollister, president of real estate for Cupertino-based Sobrato.

 

As Nathan Donato-Weinstein writes in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, “the announcement is a big vote of confidence for East Palo Alto, which has not seen a new office building since 2001’s University Circle complex replaced the storied ‘Whiskey Gulch’ on the other side of Highway 101. Meanwhile, the tech-fueled economic expansion has brought new investment to the city’s neighbors, including Menlo Park and Redwood City.”

 

 

 

“We feel very strongly about this location,” Hollister said. “It’s the closest big space you’ll find to the Stanford campus. “And for East Palo Alto, this is the gateway to the city. It really establishes the city as you come into it.”

 

Link to renderings and full article by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

New mixed-use project with Diocese of San Jose
proposed for downtown Mountain View

April 15, 2015

 

Working with the Diocese of San Jose, TSO submitted plans to the City of Mountain View proposing to lease underused land next to St. Joseph’s Parish Church for a new mixed-use project: A 100,000 s.f. office building with ground-floor retail, and 12 residential units. The long-term ground lease will provide an ongoing revenue stream for the Diocese that will allow for major facilities upgrades, including an expansion of the church’s school.

 

 

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

Albert Chiang joins Sobrato Capital as Managing Director, Private Equity

January 20, 2015

 

Sobrato Capital, the securities investment platform of The Sobrato Organization, announces the appointment of Albert Chiang as Managing Director, Private Equity. Mr. Chiang will assist with the management of Sobrato Capital’s private equity fund and direct investment program.

 

Albert joins Sobrato Capital from Bay Hills Capital in San Francisco, where as a Partner and a member of the firm’s investment committee, he was responsible for sourcing, manager selection and portfolio construction of lower middle market buyout and growth equity funds. Previously, Albert was a direct investor and served as a Principal with FTV Capital and a Vice President with Catterton Partners. He began his career with the investment banking group of Montgomery Securities. Albert earned his B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

 

“Albert brings significant experience and an extensive network of relationships in private equity to Sobrato Capital,” said Matt Sonsini, The Sobrato Organization’s Chief Investment Officer. “With Albert’s assistance, we look forward to expanding and further professionalizing Sobrato Capital’s private equity fund and direct investment platform.”

 

EMC signs lease for 151 Commonwealth Drive–
Sobrato’s speculative office building development in Menlo Park’s M2 district

December 14, 2014

 

EMC Corp. is expanding up the Peninsula— the Massachusetts-based computing giant signed a lease for one of two buildings that TSO is constructing at 151 Commonwealth Drive, not far from Facebook. The building is part of the 260,000-square-foot, 13-acre Commonwealth Corporate Center, where an old bottling plant once stood. The lease is the second major transaction for Cupertino-based Sobrato in recent days.

 

 

Donato-Weinstein notes that the Sobrato development was billed as the first speculative office building in the district in years, and the quick leasing there — four months after receiving approvals— could suggest a deeper well of interest in companies locating in the area.

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

ServiceNow signs 12 year lease for TSO’s entire Lawson Lane Campus–
re-imagined with ArcTec, Guzzardo and Devcon, for today’s market

December 12, 2014

 

ServiceNow has signed a twelve-year lease for TSO’s two-building, 330,000 sf campus at Lawson Lane, just down the street from their current headquarters. Located near the intersection of Highway 101 and San Tomas Expressway, the Lawson Lane project construction began about eight years ago without a tenant. Not long after work began, TSO halted the project in 2008 at the depth of the financial crisis. By 2010, construction began again, and was largely completed by 2012, but by then the market had changed— tech tenants were looking for a different type of product. With the help of Arc Tec Inc. architecture, landscape architect the Guzzardo Partnership and Devcon Construction, the space was re-imagined.

 

As Donato-Weinstein details, Sobrato built out lobbies and installed key elements of the buildings’ shells. The company also ripped out the formal-style  landscaping, in favor of casual outdoor workspaces. Roll-up doors were installed to link the inside and out, making the outdoor space more usable for individuals and teams. Says TSO, “The landscape is no longer something to look at; it’s a place to go work and collaborate.”

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

 

John A. and John M. Sobrato featured in The Registry Bay Area’s “Market Makers”

December 3, 2014

 

The Registry is an integrated Bay Area real estate news company that focuses on analysis, information gathering and breaking news in the real estate and related sectors. The Sobratos were recently interviewed for The Registry’s “Market Makers” video series, speaking about changes affecting real estate in the Valley, the Valley’s extension north to San Francisco, the biggest challenges facing Silicon Valley’s long term health, and what the future holds for both the Bay Area and The Sobrato Organization.

 

 

TSO tops SV Business Journal’s corporate philanthropy list for third year
giving $19.4M in cash grants to local organizations in fiscal year 2013

November 7, 2014

 

The Sobrato Organization contributed more than $19.4M in cash grants and funding for special initiatives to the Silicon Valley community through the Sobrato Philanthropies, which placed TSO narrowly ahead of Cisco System in SVBJ’s ranking of the Valley’s Top Corporate Philanthropists. Cash commitments to local causes by the region’s top 50 leading givers grew this year by 11%, according to SVBJ researcher Bryce Druzin and associate editor Lynn Peithman Stock. Though this increase does not factor in the value of in-kind donations or the $3.5 billion that companies gave to organizations worldwide, it is one measure of commitment to local needs by companies who have a home base in the region.

 

Link to full article by Lynn Peithman Stock, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

 

TSO’s Pear Avenue Project is Finalist for SV Business Journal’s
2014 Structures  “Most Creative Deal”

September 25, 2014

 

“New office projects don’t sit unoccupied for long in Mountain View’s North Bayshore district, where companies like Google Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and Intuit Inc. are growing by leaps and bounds. The problem for developers? Finding the land on which to build the kind of spacious, leading-edge office product tech tenants want there.

 

“The Sobrato Organization was able to do just that in one of the district’s best spots by locking down 11 separate parcels totaling roughly 16 acres. That’s not a simple proposition given that each property was independently owned…”

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

Sobrato bets again on Mountain View with 3.5-acre buy

September 11, 2014

 

The Sobrato Organization has closed on another development site in Mountain View, where the Cupertino-based real estate firm hopes to build a Class A office building amid a continued surge in leasing activity there. Sobrato acquired the roughly 3.5-acre site at 465 National Ave. this week from Danville-based real estate investor Nearon Enterprises…

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

Sobrato to get started immediately on 151 Commonwealth Drive in Menlo Park

August 20, 2014

 

The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the Cupertino-based firm’s plans for a $106 million, 260,000 square-foot office project slated for a 13-acre site at 151 Commonwealth Drive. “This represents a significant investment for us,” said Rich Truempler, development director for Sobrato, at the meeting. “It’s the start of the the revitalization of the M2 district,” he said, referring to the city’s industrial area in Belle Haven, a major focus of the city. “It’s the first spec office campus in the M2, and allows needed supply to Menlo Park.”

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

Jabil Circuit Inc. leases Sobrato building in South San Jose

August 18, 2014

 

Jabil’s lease brings the Sobrato’s Valley Oak Corporate Center, a five-building, 433,000-square-foot campus on Via del Oro and San Ignancio, to full occupancy, said Chase Lyman, director of commercial real estate for Sobrato. Other tenants in the complex include Motorola, Northrup Grumman, and an affiliate of Toshiba Corp.

 

Link to full article written by Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

Sobrato Office Project in Menlo Park Passes Key Hurdle

July 29, 2014

The Sobrato Organization, a Silicon Valley real estate icon, is showing its commitment to develop up north on the San Francisco Peninsula—a signal that demand for office space, particularly of the high-tech variety, will remain vigorous into the foreseeable future. In its bid to transform an old industrial site in east Menlo Park into a modern Class A office complex, the company has proposed a public-benefits package that includes building highly sustainable structures, dedicating an easement for a future pedestrian pathway and guaranteeing a minimum of $75,000 in annual sales-tax revenue to the city over a decade.

 

Link to full article pdf, by Neil Gonzales, The Registry

 

The Sobrato Organization rounds out the “Fab Five” of San Francisco Business Times’ Top Corporate Philanthropists

July 24, 2014

 

Sobrato joins Wells Fargo, Google, Cisco and Chevron in the list of top five Corporate Philanthropists — together, giving nearly $105 million to local nonprofits that target causes such as health, education, housing and the environment. Sobrato contributed more than $19.4M through cash grants and funding for special initiatives through their Foundation, covering cash expenses for three Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits, matching employee giving, and through direct corporate gifts to the local community.

 

Link to full article by Ahavah Revis, San Francisco Business Times