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A Bay Area grill maker is heeding the old adage, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” In this case, it’s simmering rental rates that are prompting Nieco Corp. to flee the market.

The San Mateo County-based and family-owned sheet metal fabrication hopes the Sonoma County community of Windsor will provide the relief. The firm is now in escrow to buy 6.62 acres situated near in Windsor, near the Sonoma County Airport.

The land is being purchased from Condiotti Construction. According to Colliers International, industrially zoned land that would cost at least $30 a square foot around Burlingame costs $6 to $8 a square foot in Windsor.

Nieco plans to build an 80,000-square-foot factory with 10,000 square feet of office and R&D space. The company does not plan to move until spring 2002, after the expiration of its current five-year lease.

In addition to lower real estate costs, the outlay by its 75-person workforce should also improve. Housing costs in Sonoma County are significantly less than San Mateo and other counties that encircle the bay.

Keegan & Coppin-ONCOR International is representing Nieco in the purchase transaction. Wright Realty is representing Condiotti.

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