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SAN DIEGO-The US Department of Homeland Security has signed a five-year lease renewal and expansion totaling 44,760 square feet at 610 West Ash St., a class A Downtown office tower, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The new lease represents an expansion of 19,783 square feet. The building is owned by Glenborough Realty, which was represented by Cushman & Wakefield associate director Pascal Aubry-Dumand along with Ron Miller of CresaPartners.

Aubry-Dumand notes that the 19-story, 178,000-square-foot high-rise, which was fully leased in the spring of 2007, continues to maintain above 90% occupancy. “Even in today’s challenging economy, 610 West Ash is one of the most highly occupied office buildings in the Downtown area,” he adds.

The Department of Homeland Security, which represented itself, now occupies suites 800, 900, 912, 1000, 1200, 1501 and 1600 at the building. Office space at 610 West Ash begins on the seventh floor, with six levels of parking below.

Glenborough Realty acquired the building in December 2003 and has since made numerous upgrades including high-level finishes and built-in reception desks to tenant-ready spec suites, sidelights, upgraded carpeting, as well as the addition of a conference room and renovations to the lobby and elevator. Aubry-Dumand points out that one of the selling points of the building for tenants is that it is Energy Star-rated, meaning that on average it uses 35% less energy on average than similar buildings that are not Energy Star-rated and generates one-third less carbon dioxide. The building also offers views of San Diego’s bay and harbor.

Financial terms of the lease were not disclosed. According to the latest Marketbeat report from Cushman & Wakefield regarding the San Diego office market, Downtown San Diego’s office inventory totals nearly 11 million square feet in 91 buildings, with a direct vacancy rate of 13.9%. The report lists the direct weighted average class A gross asking rent at $2.77 per square foot per month.

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