CALABASAS, CA-A $2.4 million lease signed by JDI Technologies and a $1.4 million lease signed by Optical Physics Co. are among $5 million in recent deals that have boosted occupancy to 97% at the seven buildings comprising Arden Realty’s 273,000 sf of office and lab space at Calabasas Tech Center.

Acknowledging the “widespread slowdown of the overall Southern California market,” Arden’s Eric Hasserjian, a vice president for leasing, tells that the five-year, 18,067-sf JDI lease and five-year, 12,343-sf Optical Physics transaction are two of a series of deals that have whittled away at vacancy in the tech center, which had been up to 11%.

JDI, which sells and services computer printers and related products, moved to Calabasas from Warner Center Business Park in Woodland Hills, while Optical Physics, a manufacturer of optical sensors for the aerospace industry, moved from elsewhere in Calabasas.The moves illustrate what Hasserjian tells is a change in recent months: a willingness among tenants to move.

“The market was stagnant in the first quarter of the year,” he says. “People were putting off decisions, and lots of folks opted just to stay put.”The vacancy rate in the Conejo Valley/101 Tech Corridor is about 12%, including sublease space, Hasserjian says, and leasing is very competitive lately because about a million square feet of new office space has been placed in service over the last year. In such conditions, owners need to demonstrate “willingness to be flexible and aggressively pursue deals,” Hasserjian adds.

Other recent transactions at Calabasas Tech Center includes leases of 9,167 square feet with Patrick Marketing Group and 4,000 square feet with Buxbaum Group & Associates Inc. Combined with the JDI and Optical Physics transactions, the deals total $5 milllion and represent 43,518 sf of net absorption.

About 7,000 sf of Arden’s 273,000 sf at the center remains vacant.

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