On March 2, 2018, ASPIRE and members came together for a tour of 444 Castro Street.
Rising twelve floors up, the property stands as the tallest and most prominent building in downtown Mountain View. With a breathtaking view of the Peninsula stretching from Stanford to Moffet Field, 444 Castro Street is prized as one of the most valuable assets in The Swig Company’s portfolio. ASPIRE had the pleasure to be hosted by two members of The Swig Company: Connor Kidd, Vice President of Investments, and Jay Scholten, Vice President of Asset Management.
Preceding the tour, lunch was hosted at XANH, a Vietnamese restaurant, bar, and lounge that accommodated us with a buffet meal. The restaurant offers a wide range of selection from bun thit nuong to cha gio, overall a great appetizing experience.
After the meal, we strolled around downtown Mountain View for a quick overview of the area and the city’s characteristics. This proves a useful segue into the tour as we learned more about legal processes from Mr. Kidd and Mr. Scholten. Acquired over almost a decade ago, 444 Castro survived as the only high-rise after the city council changed the zoning law of the neighborhood. We also got a quick glimpse into the market to understand how the property would be leased out as an office instead of retail space in downtown Mountain View.
We then proceeded to tour the under-construction portion of 444 Castro, joined by a representative of the general contractor. The exposure to this conversation was an excellent opportunity for ASPIRE members to learn more about the construction aspect of a building, ranging from the health hazard of asbestos to the roles of construction inspectors.
Overall, the tour broadened ASPIRE members’ knowledge not only on local commercial real estate, especially office leasing, but also on real-life construction not taught in the traditional academic setting.