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SAN FRANCISCO-Lucasfilm Ltd. has tapped Cushman & Wakefield to lower vacancy at its 850,000-sf Letterman Digital Arts Campus. Lucasfilm officially completed the $350-million development in June 2005.

The campus sits within the Presidio of San Francisco, a national park created from a former military base at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Three of the four buildings on the 23-acre campus are occupied largely by Lucasfilm Ltd. and its affiliates, Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts. The other, a 170,000-sf, four-story structure known as Building D, remains in shell condition.

C&W senior director Christopher Roeder is charged with filling that building and filling a few small availabilities in Building C. “These are some of the finest buildings of their size anywhere in the world,” Roeder tells GlobeSt.com “They spared no expense on this campus.”

Indeed, the buildings sit on six acres and the parking is underground, leaving 17 acres of public park space. In addition to the open space, amenities include a large dining commons run by Guckenheimer that includes a grill, salad bar, pizza oven and deli; a fully equipped fitness center run by Bay Sport; and a daycare center run by Bright Horizons that includes, a water feature, a garden and play structures. Both the dining room and the fitness center have views of Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts and Downtown San Francisco.

“It’s always been part of the plan that we would lease out a portion of the campus,” Lucasfilm’s Marlene Saritzky tells GlobeSt.com. While having the building sit empty this long may not have been part of the plan, Saritzky says “it’s a very special space and it’s more important that we find the right tenant.”

Neither Saritzky nor Roeder would discuss the lease rate they hope to achieve. Local sources tell GlobeSt.com that the full-service asking rate for the building is right around $40 per sf. The price includes a “healthy” tenant improvement package, according to local brokers.

The Presidio was transferred to the National Park Service and made part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1994. In so doing, Congress mandated a funding model for the Presidio that requires it achieve economic self-sufficiency by 2013 or face being liquidated. The Presidio Trust was established and charged with making that happen.

As part of the self-sufficiency effort, the Trust selected the 23-acre site of the vacated Letterman Army Medical Center to be redeveloped and leased. Following a design competition in 1997, a team led by Lucasfilm Ltd. was selected to replace the hospital with the Letterman Digital Arts Center.

Prior to C&W, the leasing assignment for the vacant space at the digital arts campus has been in the hands of the CAC Group. A principal at CAC Group was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon for comment.

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