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SAN FRANCISCO-Barclays Global Investors is making it easy for Equity Office Properties Trust to get started on Foundry Square I. The international asset manager has leased 96% (321,545 sf) of the 10-story 335,000-sf office building planned for 400 Howard St. in this city’s South of Market area. Barclays will be the only office tenant in the building; the remainder of the space will be retail.

EOP says it will break ground for the building in the spring and it will be developed to fit Barclays’ specifications. When complete in December 2007, Barclays will move and expand its world headquarters into the building from about 200,000 sf at 45 Fremont Street, a 580,000-sf office tower owned by MetLife and locally based Shorenstein Co. Barclays new “long-term” lease of Foundry I includes prominent signage on the building. BGI’s global headquarters have been in San Francisco since 1971 and currently employs about 1,000. “In an office market with few large-space options–and limited locations with the floor plates required for our business–we faced a significant challenge in relocating,” says managing director Tom Taggart. “Foundry Square I provides us with a new headquarters that meets our needs, and that will efficiently adapt to our future plans.”

The third of four 10-story office buildings EOP is developing at Foundry Square, Foundry I will have ground-floor retail, 12-foot ceilings and parking for 270 vehicles. Per BGI’s request, the building also will have large floor plates for trading, an emergency power supply and an eighth floor sky deck, says EOP’s VP of development Susan Taymor Sagy. The new building will mirror Foundry Square II and IV, including the same energy conservation technologies.

Stuart Eisenkraft, Jason Gorman, Tim Kazul, Lewis Miller, John Wittemyer and Mike Wellen of CB Richard Ellis represented BGI in this transaction. Eisenkraft declined to comment on the value of the lease or the term. One industry source not involved in the deal tells GlobeSt.com the value of the lease is in the vicinity of $300 million. If that were true, then a lease term of 20 years would translate to an annual effective rate about $46.65 per sf.

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