Borelli Investment Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Borelli Investment Company Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Local commercial real estate firm follows proven formula: focus on quality and value, avoid short-lived trends, and consistently deliver superior service

San Jose, California, June 8, 2005 (view photos) — In 1955, Nelo G. Borelli started a small real estate company to serve the Santa Clara Valley . The valley was a vastly different place in those days. Apricot and prune orchards blanketed much of the valley floor and surrounding foothills. The City of San Jose was a regional hub of commerce. Palo Alto was just a nice college town, while Los Gatos and Saratoga were viewed as out in the country — not the upper income suburban communities they are today. And only a few of the companies that would transform this area into the world-renowned Silicon Valley had been started.

To build its business, N.G. Borelli, Realtor offered a wide array of services: residential and commercial development, brokerage, and land sales — whatever was required. With a staff of five or six people, Nelo Borelli built personal relationships that helped the business grow, always insisting on superior service for his clients.

Not quite 20 years later, Ralph Borelli joined his father’s firm as a broker, while he was still in college. After a few years of learning the business, Ralph was ready to step up to run Borelli Investment Company when his dad retired in 1977.

“I had been around real estate all of my life,” Ralph Borelli, CEO of Borelli Investment Company said. “The valley was an exciting place to be in the commercial real estate business during the Silicon Valley boom, and we had to be fast on our feet to succeed.”

Avoiding the R&D Temptation

During the 1970s and 1980s, Borelli Investment Company began to grow quickly. Under Ralph’s direction, the company wisely focused on multi-tenant office and industrial buildings, avoiding the glamorous R&D development that eventually proved to be the undoing of many firms.

“We were smaller compared to the large national developers,” Borelli explained. “Even if we had wanted to play in the market segment, it would have been difficult for us to compete. In addition, R&D got so overbuilt that we didn’t think it was a good place for investors in our syndicated real estate offerings, and we didn’t want to be there as a company either.”

Borelli Investment Company’s instincts proved correct, and as other commercial real estate companies — developers, contractors, and brokers — struggled when the boom ended, Borelli Investment Company has enjoyed consistent growth.

Over time, Ralph Borelli expanded the firm’s capabilities beyond commercial real estate development and consulting for sales and leasing. The company built a very successful property management portfolio, with more than four million square feet of space valued at $750 million under management. In 1979, Borelli directed the formation of Borelli Investment Company’s first syndicated partnership to acquire multi-tenant industrial and office properties. To-date, the company has formed over 30 partnerships delivering long-term returns to investors.

Land Repositioning and Sales

Another Borelli Investment Company specialty is land sales. The company has the expertise and depth of experience gained from handling a wide variety of land transactions over the years. These range from relatively simple purchases of vacant land to build retail centers or office projects from Sacramento to the Central Valley , to a complex repositioning of commercial property in the heart of Silicon Valley to enhance value. The Association of Silicon Valley Brokers (ASVB) recently honored Ralph Borelli as 2004 Land Broker of the Year.

“In Silicon Valley , most of the prime land is gone,” said Borelli. “You won’t find large developable parcels without zoning restrictions or other issues, just waiting to be built upon. As a result, land sales often involve tremendous creativity to assemble numerous smaller pieces of land into a larger parcel, reposition a property, obtain necessary zoning changes and variances, oversee architectural reviews, or provide infrastructure improvements. We enjoy taking on those challenges.”

One of the company’s biggest land transactions was a 125-acre, $30 million sale for KB Home on Communications Hill in San Jose . Consisting of seven smaller parcels with multiple owners, the transaction required a decade to put together and obtain all the required approvals. Today, KB Home’s Tuscany Hills is a community of three neighborhood parks and more than 700 residential condominiums, townhomes, and single-family homes.

Business Condominiums

Borelli Investment Company is also leading the way in a growing market for office and industrial condominiums. Office condominiums, which provide small businesses with accelerated deductions, tax incentives, and the potential of long-term appreciation, are proving to be especially popular for many small start-ups, professional firms, travel agencies, and a wide range of other service businesses.

The company’s Ringwood Business Center —a 47-unit, 3-building, 73,000 square foot business condominium complex, is 80 percent sold or in escrow only six months after opening. “There simply are a large number of compelling reasons for businesses of almost any size to take advantage of the benefits of property ownership,” noted Borelli. “Business condominiums make this a reality.”

Expanding Horizons

Today Borelli Investment Company provides real estate asset management services, construction management for tenant improvements and new development, and bonded court-appointed receiverships for properties involved in legal proceedings. Over time, the company has also broadened its horizons and extended its reach into other markets beyond Silicon Valley , including the Peninsula, East Bay, Sacramento, and the fast-growing Central Valley .

“Our business has been built on a straight-forward philosophy,” Borelli stated. “We always try to deliver high quality and excellent value. We stay away from overheated, trendy segments of the marketplace. And we empower our people to make decisions, so that they can provide superior service to clients—completing transactions and meeting clients’ needs and expectations.”

Borelli Investment Company is one of the oldest commercial real estate firms in the Santa Clara Valley. The company provides a full range of commercial real estate services — from development and construction management to land sales and consulting for sales and leasing. A chronological summary of Borelli Investment Company’s history is also available. More information about Borelli Investment Company’s services may be obtained by calling (408) 453-4700 or visiting

Contact: Ralph Borelli, CEO Borelli Investment Company 1770 Technology Dr. San Jose, CA 95110 Ph: 408.453.4700 Fax: 408.453.4636 E-mail: