The Shattuck Cinemas property was sold to Los Angeles based Hill Street Realty. Photo: Yelp

A Los Angeles real estate group has snapped up the 92,000-square foot building that holds the Shattuck Cinemas, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

Hill Street Realty paid about $20 million, or $217 a square foot, for the property, formally known as Berkeley Center. In addition to the cinemas (which used to hold Hink’s Department Store) the property houses Habitot Children’s Museum, a Starbucks, and various offices. The Hotel Shattuck Plaza sits on the block, but was not included in the transaction.

“We bought everything but the hotel,” said Joseph Penner, the founder of Hill Street Realty, which has its offices in Santa Monica. “The hotel is still owned by the Patels. We are happy to be there.”

Penner said he would have more information about plans for the property in a few weeks.

The San Francisco Business Times quotes one of the brokers as saying the business climate in downtown is improving.

“The city of Berkeley has been successful in passing a new Downtown Area Plan, which paves the way for future development in and around downtown Berkeley,” Joshua Levy of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank told the Times.

Hill Street Realty was founded in 2001 and has acquired more than $100 million in investment properties. The privately held company, which buys, sells, and manages buildings, was started by Penner.

The seller was Marin County businessman Roy Nee, said Penner. Nee acquired the property in 2004.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...