OAKLAND, CA-Garlock & Co. is finding takers for 1500 Broadway, a 100,000-sf B-class Downtown office building that it acquired half vacant last June. One year later, the four-story building with underground parking is 15% vacant, according to the leasing broker, Damian Fink of Tribune Commercial.

Most recently, Transfair USA, the only independent third-party certifier of fair trade products in the United States, signed a seven-year lease for the 22,681-sf top floor of the four-story building. Its build out will feature operable windows, tinted skylights, recycled carpet and ceiling fans. Occupancy is slated for September.

Transfair, which is now located less than one block from 1500 Broadway, was represented by Ben Harrison with the Oakland office of Colliers International. “They are basically moving across the street from their existing location, which has 5,000-sf floor plates,” he says. “They are doubling their space and wanted to be on a single floor; the top floor allows them to have skylights and fresh air, things you can’t get in the middle floors of a sealed building.”

As for the lease rate, Harrison tells GlobeSt.com the transaction represents one of the last sub-two dollar lease deals in the Oakland marketplace for class B space. “The market is tightening and higher pro-forma rent models will be driving the next round of deals,” he says.

Prior to Transfair, Fink leased up the 10,500 sf of ground floor retail to five tenants. In one deal, an underperforming Wendy’s restaurant was replaced by SF Pizza, Fink tells GlobeSt.com.

The second floor and a portion of the third floor is leased to US Customs, which was in the building at the time of the acquisition. Finks says the federal agency recently expanded and has a few years left on its lease.

The remaining vacant space in the building is the third floor space not leased to US Customs. The space is currently in shell condition. A lease for about 25% of the space is out for signature, Fink says. The triple-net asking rate for available space in the building is $1.85, a rate that includes a $40 per-sf tenant improvement allowance, Fink says.

Garlock and Co. also acquired the building adjacent to 1500 Broadway, 1528 Broadway, which currently holds a old building that will be razed and replaced with a new building. The new structure is slated to include two-floors of underground parking topped by street level retail and, above that, 70 residential condominiums.

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