SAN FRANCISCO-A combination of tenant retention and new leasing has brought occupancy to 92% at 221 Main St., a 16-story, 350,000-sf class A office building in San Francisco.A local family owns the building and farms out the leasing assignment to John Jensen of Grubb & Ellis. Jensen tells that 15 deals totaling 134,000 sf have been completed at the building in the last 12 months. Most recently, in addition to a host of smaller deals, Triage Consulting signed a 21,255-sf, 11-year renewal and expansion lease and the engineering firm URS renewed its 21,462-sf lease for another seven years.

“(URS) had the right to terminate the lease but we got them to extend the lease for another seven years,” says Jensen, who acknowledged that it was a ‘blend and extend’ deal, meaning the building owner dropped the rate in exchange for a longer-term commitment by the tenant.

Triage Consulting, a longtime tenant in the building currently housed in 10,000 sf on the 14th floor, is taking another 4,500 sf of expansion space there until next June, when it will take over the entire 11th floor. The 11th floor is currently occupied by a company that is relocating to the East Bay in January. Jim Sobel of Colliers International represented Triage in the transaction.

“We have a great relationship with the landlord,” said Denise Allen, a principal at Triage Consulting Group. “We started with 3,000 square feet and 12 employees in 1994 and have been very fortunate to have a landlord who has accommodated our needs each time we’ve needed more space.

“We really like the building, the location and especially the unobstructed Bay view, and those were really prime factors in our decision to stay here. We did investigate the market but in the end, this was where our home was.”

Sobel says that remaining in San Francisco was critical to Triage’s recruitment and employee-retention programs. “San Francisco remains the hot spot for young, educated professionals and Triage understands that that group is an important part of its growth strategy,” he says.

Both Sobel and Jensen declined to talk about specific lease rates, but local brokers familiar with the building and the market say most deals are being done in the mid $20s per sf per year, not including concessions, which often include turnkey tenant improvements and a substantial amount of free rent.

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