Martin Sawa provides owner-level advisory services and managing partner participation on complex commercial real estate projects. Martin has been a developer, operator and broker. He has negotiated numerous high-profile transactions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. He has partnered with and represented institutional, private capital, off-shore, family office, and non-profit investors and owners. The value of his transactions has ranged from $10-400 million.

Martin is skilled in all aspects of commercial real estate, particularly the “value creation” categories of acquisition/disposition and development/entitlements. He was formerly a city planner and studied architecture and urban planning in college. He is self-directed, understands risk/reward and is able to step in quickly and execute.

Investment and Development

Martin Sawa was the President and Founding Partner of Urban Realty Co., Inc., a boutique operating company headquartered in San Francisco that partnered with institutional investors to acquire significant properties, create value and maximize asset potential. Urban Realty’s projects covered the risk spectrum. Selected examples include:

One Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California


A 76,000 square foot office building fully leased to Wells Fargo Bank. The asset value was enhanced by the discovery of unused air rights and the conceptualization of a residential tower.

901 Market Street
San Francisco, California


A 210,000 square foot office building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was repurposed by the expansion of the retail component, which required dexterity in light of the restrictions imposed by building’s historic designation.

945 Market Street
San Francisco, California


A 250,000 square foot, vertical shopping center (now Ikea). Urban Realty surreptitiously assembled the land from multiple owners, conceived a unique design executed by Gensler, and obtained entitlements from the City and County of San Francisco, probably the toughest jurisdiction nationally, on a unanimous vote and without any subsequent litigation.


Martin Sawa has extensive experience in representing the interests of entities with unique requirements in addition to the profitability of their commercial real estate investments. Selected examples include:

Family Office

Martin was engaged by a family to acquire $100+ million in multiple, concurrent property acquisitions, diversified by region and product type. The effort had to be completed in six months so as to accomplish a tax-deferred exchange. Office, retail and industrial properties were acquired in three states, and price-gouging avoided by the negotiation of back up offers.


A prominent San Francisco Bay Area healthcare entity had expanded rapidly and needed to evaluate its owned and leased properties. Martin provided strategic direction for the portfolio going forward and also negotiated a joint venture with an experienced builder to develop the expansion of their clinics along with affordable housing.


Martin was engaged to render an Opinion of Value for Treasure Island by one of the involved public agencies. This was the most complex valuation of his career as the artificial island in San Francisco Bay was challenged by poor soils, environmental contamination, aging infrastructure and restricted vehicular access as measured against a number of potential future development alternatives.


Martin Sawa started his career in commercial real estate as an investment properties broker. Through affiliations with CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and others, he executed transactions in excess of $3 billion in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and other cities. These were both formally marketed and “off-market” assignments for office, retail and industrial property types, and included sales, purchases, joint-ventures and other capital structures. Selected examples include:

One California
San Francisco, California
485,000 sq. ft.

333 Bush
San Francisco, California
542,000 sq. ft.

The Ordway
Oakland, California
520,000 sq. ft.

101 N. Brand
Glendale, California
410,000 sq. ft.

Retail/Mixed Use
Villa Marina
Los Angeles, California
448,000 sq. ft.

Retail/Mixed Use
240 Stockton at Union Square
San Francisco, California
40,000 sq. ft.

Retail/Mixed Use
The Anchorage
San Francisco, California
407,000 sq. ft.

Freeport Center
Clearfield, Utah
7,000,000 sq. ft.


Please contact Martin regarding your commercial real estate project at (415) 328-7788, or by sending him an email below.

Martin Sawa is a licensed California real estate broker (# 00646318).