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NEWARK, CA-DayStar Technologies, a Santa Clara, CA-based publicly traded company catering to the solar power industry has signed a 10-year lease for 140,000 sf of manufacturing space at Pacific Research Center. The 1.4 million-sf, 10-building former Sun Microsystems campus is being converted for use as a multi-tenant research campus by publicly held BioMed Realty Trust.

DayStar’s lease is for the only manufacturing building on the property, a 200,000-sf warehouse for which the asking lease rate was $1 per sf, triple net. DayStar has not yet filed any lease details with the SEC. One of the listing brokers on the deal, Gregg Domanico of GVA Kidder Mathews, tells GlobeSt.com that DayStar negotiated into the deal a one-year expansion right for the rest of the building. “I fully expect them to expand into it,” he says.

Pacific Research Center is located immediately off Highway 84 and the Dumbarton Bridge, the southernmost of the highway bridges that span San Francisco Bay. Aside from the manufacturing facility, the buildings are two- and three-story office/R&D buildings. BioMed acquired the campus in mid-2006 for $216 million but Sun didn’t fully vacate the premises until mid-2007. The company has since spent more than $20 million on the repositioning, according to SEC filings, and has more to do. Completion of the conversion is slated for this time next year.

DayStar is one of three tenants to sign on in the past four months. Earlier this month, Revance Therapeutics Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, agreed to lease approximately 90,000 sf on a long-term basis. It will relocate to the building from 2400 Bayshore Parkway in Mountain View, CA. In December, Risk Management Solutions, which provides catastrophic risk assessment for the insurance industry, signed a 12-year headquarters lease for 103,000 sf. The lease is for twice as much space as its current Newark headquarters lease at Bridgeway Technology Center, which expires in late 2010.

The 333,000-sf of leasing puts BioMed Realty two thirds of the way toward its 2008 leasing goal. In January, after Risk Management Solutions signed on, BioMed CFO Kent Griffen told GlobeSt.com he wanted to see approximately 500,000 sf of leasing by the end of the year and have it fully leased up by 2010.

Jim McPhee, a Cushman & Wakefield senior director who has been one of the listing brokers, told GlobeSt.com at the same time that negotiations were under way 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. Those negotiations included Revance and DayStar. McPhee was leasing the property in partnership with fellow C&W broker Dan Harvey and Domanico of GVA Kidder Mathews. C&W is no longer involved.

Domanico tells GlobeSt.com this week that he currently has activity from users ranging from 15,000 sf to 100,000 sf is actively negotiating deals and that total leasing by the end of the year could top 600,000 sf, bringing a 1.4 million sf repositioning to nearly 50% occupancy before the renovation work is even completed. “I think by the end of the year we will have done an additional 200,000- to 300,00 sf [of leasing],” he says.

The pro forma triple-net asking rate for office/R&D space in the park has been $2.75 per sf per month ($33 per sf per year). The rate assumes a five- to 10-year lease and a plus-$100-per-sf tenant improvement allowance.

DayStar is engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of photovoltaic products based upon CIGS thin film semiconductor technology. The company currently leases 50,000 sf of headquarters office and manufacturing space at 2972 Stender Way in Santa Clara under a 51-month lease that expires in August 2010.

There has been all sorts of leasing activity in the Silicon Valley in recent weeks and months, so much so that some local brokers have taken to renaming the area “Solarcon” Valley. Most recently, in April, SVTC Technologies , an independent semiconductor process-development foundry, leased 85,000 sf in San Jose that will be used to provide solar panel manufacturers a self-service manufacturing facility. SVTC signed a five-year lease for a two-story 114,000-sf building at 5215 Hellyer Ave. that is part of a two-building 353,000-sf complex owned by Golden Gate Real Estate.

“We will be loading this building up with equipment that solar manufacturers need for their product development,” Kurt Laetz, the SVTC managing director who will lead its solar effort told GlobeSt.com last week. “It should allow a lot of companies to get their product to market cheaper and faster.”

Right around the end of the first quarter, Stion Corp , a manufacturer of thin-film solar technology, signed a five-year lease that will relocate its headquarters to San Jose from Menlo Park later this year. The company, currently housed in 11,000 sf in Menlo Park, signed a five-year lease for a 65,000-sf building in the Edenvale industrial area of South San Jose. At the start of 2007, Nanosolar Inc. Nanosolar Inc. leased a building in San Jose for a solar cell fabrication facility. The Palo Alto, CA-based company leased 90,000 sf of a 203,800-sf building at 5521 Hellyer Ave. that is owned by Mission West Properties.

Both Stion and Nanosolar received incentives from the city’s Redevelopment Agency Board that helped seal the deals. In addition to those two companies, the city attracted SoloPower from Milpitas in November 2007.

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