From 1922 to 1975, the classic brick-and-marble structure servedas the utility's Western US headquarters. The 40,000-sf building isundergoing an $8-million facelift by Terry McGrath, owner of AegisRealty Partners. McGrath credits skyrocketing real estate valuesfor saving the building, which he picked up in 1996. Turner, theBay Area's largest contractor, will take the buildings first fourfloors, totaling more than 17,000 sf and Ketchum will move into thetop two floors plus the penthouse, totaling more than 10,500sf.

New York-based Ketchum, a public relations firm, will still keepits offices in San Francisco and Redwood City. The commute-friendlylocation lured the company to its new location, says Jon Higgins,director for the company. He estimates that approximately 40% ofhis workers live in the East Bay. In recent years, Oakland hasbecome a viable option for office space, where rent is $1.50 to $2per sf per month.

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