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NEWARK, CA-Publicly traded BioMed Realty Trust of San Diego has landed the first tenant for Pacific Research Center, the 10-building, 1.4-million-sf former Sun Microsystems campus it acquired in mid-2006 for $215 million. The inaugural tenant, Risk Management Solutions, isn’t in the biomedical arena, but the 103,000-sf commitment is significant and there are more tenants in the pipeline, according to Jim McPhee, one of the Cushman & Wakefield brokers marketing the development.

RMS provides catastrophic risk assessment for the insurance industry. Founded at Stanford University in 1988, it offers technology and services to manage risk associated with natural perils such as earthquakes, hurricanes and windstorms. It also provides risk modeling for man-made disasters associated with acts of terrorism, and pandemic disease. The company is owned by UK-based Daily Mail and General Trust Plc.

RMS signed a 12-year lease for 103,000 sf at Pacific Research Center, which is 50,000 sf larger than its existing Newark headquarters. Ron Kilby of CB Richard Ellis brokered the deal for the company. The negotiated lease rate has not been released, but the pro forma triple-net asking rate for office space in the park is $2.75 per sf per month, assuming a five- to 10-year lease and a plus-$100-per-sf tenant improvement allowance, McPhee says.

BioMed owns or has interests in 68 properties totaling 8.5 million rentable sf (net rentable) and has an additional 1.9 million sf in its development pipeline. Most of its properties are located in the major US life science markets of San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York/New Jersey.

Pacific Research Center is located immediately off Highway 84 and the Dumbarton Bridge, the southernmost of the highway bridges that span San Francisco Bay. While BioMed acquired the campus in mid-2006, Sun didn’t fully vacate the premises until mid-2007.

BioMed CFO Kent Griffen tells GlobeSt.com that the past several months have been spent transforming the campus from a single-tenant, owner-occupied facility to one that can be leased to multiple tenants. Nine of the buildings are two- and three-story office/R&D buildings; the other building is a 200,000-sf, single-story manufacturing building.

The development’s central location, ample free parking (5,400 spaces) and large blocks of contiguous space are drawing eyes. Helping attract tenants is a 55,000-sf, two-story amenities building that includes a full fitness facility, a full cafeteria and a full conference center.

“We’ve said we’d like to see about 500,000 sf of leasing by the end of ’08,” Griffen says. “Our intent is to have it fully leased by 2010.”

McPhee, a senior director with C&W, tells GlobeSt.com that BioMed’s ’08 goal is well within reach. “We are in negotiation on several leases that would account for an additional 400,000 to 500,000 sf of leasing in round numbers over the next 90 to 180 days,” says McPhee, who is marketing the development with fellow C&W broker Dan Harvey and Gregg Domanico of GVA Kidder Mathews.

With regard to the type of tenants the development is attracting, McPhee says BioMed always expected it would attract more than just life-sciences companies, such as the Silicon Valley’s traditional software and hardware development and design companies. Indeed, Sun developed the campus to accommodate engineering, software design, manufacturing as well as general office needs and the property’s zoning has a broad array of permitted uses including computer software development, electronic instrument and component manufacture and assembly, pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing, and medical device manufacturing and assembly.That having been said, McPhee says that the majority of the companies currently negotiating for space in the development are in the life sciences realm.

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