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SAN DIMAS, CA-An industrial design and engineering firm whose US headquarters are based in the San Gabriel Valley community of San Dimas has signed a $10-million lease deal to move to Claremont.

The 10-year pact will provide Technip USA with 79,800 sf of office space at 555 W. Arrow Highway, not far from Claremont University. The company, which employs several dozen Southern California residents, will move into its new HQ next May.

The private Keck Institute of Applied Life Sciences owns the Claremont building. Josef Farrar of Julien J. Studley Inc. represented the building owner in the lease negotiations. Natalie Bazarevitch of CB Richard Ellis represented Technip.

Technip designs and engineers oil refineries and other types of industrial plants around the world. Its global headquarters are in Paris, with additional offices in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia.

The San Gabriel Valley office market is small compared to most other LA County markets, but its vacancy factor is among the lowest in the region. The area’s diversified tenant base has kept demand for space steady, but vacancies have been dropping because relatively few new projects have been started.

A recent report by Cushman & Wakefield of California Inc. puts the San Gabriel Valley’s current vacancy rate at about 7.8%, roughly one full percentage point below its midyear level and sharply lower than its 13% vacancy factor in the third quarter of last year. In contrast, vacancy rates in most other LA markets have climbed throughout most of 2001, Cushman & Wakefield says.

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