A source with Levi tells GlobeSt.com that the company has beenout of the market for several years and wants to have a goodunderstanding of the current rental rates for a renewal versus theother options. "This background work is standard when considering along-term lease commitment and our company policies requirecompetitive bidding on all our contracts," he states in an email."We have hired the Staubach Company to assist with this work."

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Whatever it does, it appears that it will be in a smallerfootprint. A local broker confirmed for GlobeSt.com that Staubachsent out RFPs on behalf of Levi for 300,000 sf of office space.While substantially less than it currently leases, 300,000 sf maynot be substantially less than the company currently occupies, asit subleases a portion of its space.

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Known as Levi's Plaza, 1155 Battery St. has a total of 838,000sf of office space. The building owner is Gerson Bakar and Assoc.,which retains Interland Jalson as the third party property manager.Interland deferred questions to Gerson Bakar's Stephen LoPristi,who was not immediately available Wednesday afternoon forcomment.

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According to published reports, painful cost-cutting and asharper fashion sense has put Levi Stauss' sales on the mend thelast couple of years after a decade of erosion caused by the lossof market share to both less expensive brands and more expensivebrands.

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Given its frugal recent history--and the fact that the companyhad been based in San Francisco since its founding in 1853, and theinitials "S.F." are printed on the buttons of it well-knownjeans--local industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that the companylikely would not relocate outside San Francisco and likely wouldnot pay the premium for newly built space. Both decisions would addseemingly unnecessary costs, they say.

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Then again, the company broke from tradition last year and hiredan outside chairman for the company, Gary Rogers, formerly chiefexecutive of Oakland-based Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream. Founded byBavarian immigrant Levi Strauss and currently owned by some of hisdescendants, the Hass family, Levi Strauss Inc. generated $4.36billion in revenue last year, up from approximately $4.19 billionin 2006 and $4.22 in 2005.

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