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Lease Up/Lease Down (Apr. 11-17): Major Leases and Layoffs on the East Coast

Consolidating All of Your Leasing and Relocation News
April 14, 2010

CoStar compiles news of corporate expansions, relocations, extensions, closures, layoffs, lease cancellations and mergers in the weekly Lease Up/Lease Down news report, a concise read keeping you updated on major corporate moves affecting commercial real estate, and can also be a valuable source for business leads.

In this week's issue:
  • Ober|Kaler relocates in Baltimore

  • Major Layoffs hit New York and California

  • Expansions, Relocations & Extensions

    Ober|Kaler Relocating HQ to 100 Light Street

    Ober|Kaler is moving its headquarters to 100 Light Street in Baltimore, the trophy high-rise formerly known as the Legg Mason Building. Lexington Realty Trust signed the locally based law firm to a 94,213-square-foot deal.

    The lease commences later this year and runs through March 2026. Ober|Kaler is expected to take occupancy in about a year.

    Built in 1973, the 35-story, 530,000-square-foot office skyscraper is the tallest building in Maryland. Located at Inner Harbor, 100 Light Street takes up an entire city block and is bordered by Light Street, Lombard Street, Charles Street and Pratt Street, all major arteries in Baltimore.

    Although the building contains several other tenants such as The Center Club and Cassidy Turley, it has remained mostly vacant since Legg Mason relocated to 100 International Drive last year. Ober|Kaler's lease brings 100 Light to 44 percent occupancy.

    Elizabeth Cooper, Jeff Groh and Michael Singer with Jones Lang LaSalle represented Ober|Kaler. David Downey, Matt Seward and John Schulze with Cassidy Turley handled negotiations for Lexington.

    The lease represents an expansion for Ober|Kaler, which is relocating from its home of 20 years, the SunTrust Bank Building at 120 E. Baltimore St. The law firm occupies about 75,000 square feet at that location, according to CoStar information.

    John Wolf, chair of Ober|Kaler, said that 100 Light "offers our firm modern offices with an outstanding combination of esthetics and practicality, from magnificent views of the Inner Harbor to convenient access and parking. Remaining in the Downtown City Center is part of our continuing commitment to the city of Baltimore."

    Lexington is spending approximately $43.1 million on renovations to 100 Light, including $23.3 million for a new parking garage. A redesigned plaza and lobby, as well as a new conference center, fitness center and cafeteria are also in the works.

    "Ober|Kaler's move to 100 Light Street means that 130 jobs will remain in the city," said Kirby Fowler, president of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and a former partner at Ober|Kaler. "It says a lot about the strengths of Baltimore's workforce and business climate when one of the region's most enduring professional firms chooses to stay here and grow. In addition, 100 Light is one of Downtown's premiere office towers and Lexington Realty is making significant investments that make deals like this one possible."

    NYLB Signs 116,000-SF Lease in Manhattan

    By Delphine Thomas

    The New York Liquidation Bureau (NYLB) signed an 116,540-square-foot lease at 110 William St. in Manhattan. The 16-year lease is slated to commence this summer.

    The 32-story, 868,000-square-foot office building was built in 1999 in the Insurance District submarket. Additional tenants include the NYC Industrial Development Agency, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the NYC Housing Development Corp.

    The Jones Lang LaSalle team of Peter Hennessy & Scott Cahaly represented The NYLB. Todd Korren represented the landlord, Swig Equities LLC, in-house.

    UDT Inks $2.5M Compton Warehouse Lease

    By Laurie Forbes

    UDT Distribution Corp. leased 120,000 square feet at 801 W. Artesia Blvd. in Compton, CA, for $2.51 million. Move in is set for next month.

    Built in 1979, the 120,000-square-foot industrial warehouse is on 5.79 acres in the Compton West Industrial submarket of Los Angeles.

    Todd Taugner of The Klabin Co. represented the owner, AMB/MAR Carson LLC, a division of AMB Property Corp. James Min, director for Colliers International’s Korean Desk, represented UDT.

    Pax Industries Takes 105,625 SF in SW Charlotte

    By Anthony James Tinnirella

    Pax Industries Inc., a global provider of logistic solutions for plastics and similar commodities, leased 105,625 square feet at 11701 Goodrich Drive in southwest Charlotte, NC.

    Delivered in 1970, the 436,000-square-foot industrial building is a prime asset of TA Associates Realty, and is currently being managed by Trinity Partners Management.

    Adam Eason of Trinity Partners represented Pax, while Bill Wood and Terry Brennan of the same firm represented the landlord.

    Giant Eagle Expands in Western Pennsylvania

    Giant Eagle said last week that it is expanding its presence even further in Western Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh-based grocer is acquiring five former Penn Traffic stores.

    Penn Traffic, which operated the P&C, Quality Markets and BiLo lines, filed for bankruptcy in November. Tops Markets purchased the company in January for $85 million with the intent of keeping most - but not all - of the former Penn Traffic stores open.

    Given Giant Eagle's track record in Western Pennsylvania, Tops approached the grocery store operator about purchasing five locations:
    • 40 South White Street, Brookville (BiLo Foods)

    • 100 North Main Street, DuBois (BiLo Foods)

    • 1910 Minno Drive, Johnstown (BiLo Foods)

    • 846 South Street/St. Marys Street, St. Marys (BiLo Foods)

    • 110 South Martin Street, Titusville (Quality Market)
    "Tops informed us that these stores were outside of their geographic footprint, and as such would ultimately be closed and the employees terminated," said Giant Eagle Special Counsel Dan Shapira "We believe there is an opportunity to refurbish these stores and bring to consumers of the area an overall improved shopping experience."

    Tops is currently in the process of liquidating its inventory at the stores, which will soon be closed down, except for the pharmacy portions of the DuBois and Brookville locations. After the closures, the properties will be turned over to Giant Eagle.

    Blue Shield of California signed a five-year renewal for 75,432 square feet at 225 Bush St. in San Francisco. The company occupies the eighth, ninth and 19th floors in the 557,972-square-foot, 22-story office building. The structure was formerly known as the Standard Oil Building and was originally developed by John D. Rockefeller and later was the headquarters for Chevron Corp. Roy Longman at CresaPartners in Los Angeles and Ken Sproul at CresaPartners in San Francisco represented Blue Shield. Wes Powell and Karen Wells at Jones Lang LaSalle represented the landlord, SEB Immobilien-Investment Group GMBH. (By: Ryan Munneke)

    Dynagraf renewed its 100,884-square-foot headquarters lease at 5 Dan Road in Canton, MA. The 100,884-square-foot industrial building was built in 1970. Dynagraf is a printing, collateral and marketing materials provider. The Canton Commerce Center property is the company's main headquarters and it will remain the only tenant in the building. John Lashar, Jay Nugent, Paul Leone and Robert Byrne of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners represented the landlord, TA Associates Realty. Cushman & Wakefield represented Dynagraf. (By: Darell Lea)

    Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. subleased 70,235 square feet at 2 Corporate Drive in South San Francisco. The 81,235-square-foot flex is on 8.32 acres and was built in 1998. The firm will move into Reovis's old space in early October. It also signed a four-year extension from the end of the sublease. Five Prime started off in South San Francisco and moved to Mission Bay in 2004 and now will head back to its original area. James Bennett of GVA Kidder Matthews in San Francisco represented the tenant. Gregg Domanico of the same company in Redwood City represented the sublessor. (By: Ryan Munneke)

    Jet Lithocolor Inc., an Illinois-based commercial printing company, signed a 94,118-square-foot lease for 10 years with BPG Properties Ltd. at 605 Territorial Drive in Bolingbrook, IL. The 182,400-square-foot industrial facility is in the South Interstate 55 Corridor Industrial submarket, was built in 1998 and includes heavy power, parking for 293 cars and a 30-foot clear height. Traci Buckingham and Grant Glattly of CB Richard Ellis represented BPG. Jason West of Cushman & Wakefield represented Jet Lithocolor. (By: Yuri Andersen)

    Owens & Miner signed a long-term deal to renew its lease of 47,459 square feet and expanded an additional 100,119 square feet at 20 Freedom Way in Franklin, MA. Richmond, VA-based medical and surgical supplies distributor now occupies 147,578 square feet.The building is a 223,450-square-foot, state-of-the-art, steel construction, Class B distribution center that consist of 32 loading docks, 36-foot high ceilings and a ESFR sprinkler system that was built in 2003 on 17 acres in the Franklin Industrial Park. John Lashar, Paul Leone and Samantha Hallowell of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners represented the landlord, TA Associates Realty. Jackson & Cooksey, out of Dallas, TX, represented Owens & Minor. (By: Darell Lea)

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    Closures & Layoffs

    St. Vincent's Closing, Employees to be Laid Off

    The board of directors of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers voted last week to end all inpatient operations at its Manhattan location, including acute, rehab and behavioral health services.

    The hospital employs about 3,500 people, the majority of which are expected to be laid off. Of that number, about 1,500 belong to the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union. The union's Job Security Fund is attempting to find new positions for those employees, but such a large number of displaced workers makes job placement difficult.

    The decision comes after a six-month struggle to save the 160-year-old medical center at 170 W. 12th St., which has crumbled under the weight of its massive debt and is expected to file bankruptcy. St. Vincent's was unable to secure a partner, and even Governor David Paterson's efforts over the past few months - including a special task force and $9 million in emergency loans - have failed to keep the hospital afloat.

    "The decision to close St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan inpatient services was made only after the board, management and our advisors exhausted every possible alternative," said Alfred E. Smith IV, chairman of the board of Saint Vincent's.

    The board's decision only immediately affects the Manhattan hospital’s inpatient services. Other programs and facilities, such as its home health agency, nursing homes, cancer center, HIV/AIDS center, St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester and US Family Health Plan, are to continue without interruption for the time being. St. Vincent's is in the process of selling off those factions to other providers.

    Gov. Paterson announced a Request for Grant Applications (RGA) for the development of a new model of urgent care services, in order to continue medical services in St. Vincent's community.

    "While I am disappointed that St. Vincent's will close its inpatient services, I am committed to ensuring that the health care needs of the community it serves continue to be met," said Paterson. "This project will help maintain access to needed urgent care services in Greenwich Village."

    All of the St. Vincent's patients will be discharged and transferred to a nearby, non-affiliated facility. Elective surgeries are set to cease after April 14. Additionally, ambulances are no longer sent to the hospital.

    St. Vincent's is scheduled to close at the end of the month.

    State Legislature Bails Out on NYC OTB Bailout

    New York Gov. David Paterson was expected to propose a bailout on Wednesday for the bankrupt New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. (NYC OTB). However, according to a statement from the Governor's office, the state legislature departed negotiations without acting on any legislation.

    NYC OTB is faced with the unsavory prospect of closing its locations and laying off approximately 1,300 workers, which now appears to be the probable outcome. The organization, which was due to cease operations on April 11, pushed back the deadline to this coming Sunday in hopes that lawmakers would be able to iron out a plan that would resolve its issues.

    But the state legislature isn't set to meet again until Monday.

    "The board of directors of NYC OTB resolved to cease operations no later than close of business April 18, absent action by the legislature to solve the corporation’s immediate cash flow problem by making adjustments to payments to the industry," said Paterson. "Given that stakeholder disagreement prevented this legislative action, I expect the board will carry out its planned shutdown as reflected in its resolution."

    Paterson's bill had been met some controversy because it would have lowered NYC OTB's payments to racetracks on days when they weren't operating. Additionally, salaries would have been lowered and there would have been reductions to management.

    The proposal could have also been derailed by reports of a secret deal between NYC OTB and its major union, District Council 37, which would have ensured 20% pay increases and large severance packages, in exchange for major job reductions.

    NYC OTB handles about $1 billion in wagers every year and contributes to approximately 70,000 jobs throughout the state. According to the organization's website, NYC OTB has 65 locations throughout the New York metro area. All would be directly affected if operations cease on Sunday.

    Wells Fargo is cutting 415 jobs in Sacramento as it consolidates two call centers, located at 2125 Butano Drive and 3640 Northgate Blvd. The financial services company, which merged with Wachovia last year, eliminated positions that it deemed to be duplicated or unneeded. Wells Fargo employs about 4,000 people in the Sacramento area.

    Exelixis is laying off 270 workers, or about 40 percent of its workforce, as part of a financial restructuring. The biopharmaceutical company is reducing the number of compounds that it develops and as a result, is scaling back on staff. Exelixis projects that the cutbacks will result in savings of approximately $90 million through 2011. However, the company also estimated about $15 million in restructuring charges in Q1, with further costs possible in the near future.

    Company Address Closure or Layoff # Affected Impact Date
    St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan 170 W 12th St, New York, NY Closure 3,500 4/30/2010
    New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. New York, NY, surrounding areas closure 1,300 4/18/2010
    Wells Fargo Sacramento Phone Bank 2125 Butano Dr, Sacramento, CA
    Layoff 292 5/17/2010
    Wells Fargo National Business Banking Center 3640 Northgate Blvd, Sacramento, CA closure 123 5/18/2010
    Exelixis 249 E. Grand Ave, South San Francisco, CA Layoff 234 5/10/2010
    Exelixis 4757 Nexus Center Dr, San Diego, CA Layoff 36 5/10/2010
    Gargiulo 35300 W. Shaw Ave, Firebaugh, CA
    Layoff 262 6/15/2010
    Resort at Squaw Creek 400 Squaw Creek Rd, Olympic Valley, CA Layoff 246 5/2/2010
    Adelanto Community Correctional Facility 10400 Rancho Rd, Adelanto, CA Closure 122 6/4/2010
    Applied Materials 3050-3100 Bowers Ave; 2801-3101 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara, CA Layoff 47 5/3/2010
    Applied Materials 2700 Maxwell Way, M/S 5500, Fairfield, CA Layoff 17 5/3/2010
    Arcadian Management Services 955 Overland Ct, Suite 200, San Dimas, CA Closure 81 5/12/2010
    AT&T Corp. 4430 Rosewood Dr, Pleasanton, CA Layoff 59 5/14/2010
    AT&T, Global Customer Service 177 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA Layoff 79 5/17/2010
    AT&T, ABS Global Customer Service 2600 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA Layoff 77 5/24/2010
    Carmenita Ford Truck Sales 13443 E. Freeway Dr, Santa Fe Springs, CA Closure 88 5/28/2010
    Carmenita Leasing 15605 Cornet St, Santa Fe Springs, CA Closure 27 5/28/2010
    Communication Services for the Deaf. (CSD) 1160 N. Lemoore Ave, Lemoore, CA closure 97 6/1/2010
    Fremont Medical Center 970 Plumas St., Yuba City, CA Layoff 147 5/1/2010
    Inscom Exercise Support (McNeil Technologies) Fort Irwin, CA Layoff 141 6/1/2010
    Johnson Controls 6383 Las Positas Rd, Livermore, CA Closure 71 5/7/2010
    Northrop Grumman Continental Maritime 1995 Bay Front St, San Diego, CA Layoff 167 6/18/2010
    Precor 28936 Avenue Williams, Valencia, CA Layoff 42 5/18/2010
    Redbarn Per Products 2148 W 16th St, Long Beach, CA Closure 88 5/2/2010
    Rideout Memorial Hospital 726 4th St, Marysville, CA Layoff 118 5/1/2010
    Secret Level 123 Townsend St., Suite 300, San Francisco, CA Closure 67 5/24/2010
    Sony Electronics 16530 Via Exprillo, San Diego, CA Layoff 150 6/1/2010
    Symantec Corp.350 Ellis St, Mountain View, CA Layoff 124 5/31/2010
    Teasdale Quality Foods 901 Packers St, Atwater, CA Layoff 90 5/21/2010
    The Upper Deck Co. 5909 Sea Otter Pl, Carlsbad, CA Layoff 119 5/10/2010
    Xenoport 3410 & 3400 Central Expy, Santa Clara, CA Layoff 107 5/4/2010

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