Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Five companies sign Mare Island leases, add 40 full-time jobs at former shipyard

Five companies sign Mare Island leases, add 40 full-time jobs at former shipyard
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 09/09/2008

Five companies have signed new leases with Lennar Mare Island, bringing 40 new full-time jobs to the former shipyard, an LMI spokesman said Monday.

LMI is the island's main developer.

The leases - for two building contractors, two industrial fabricators and an architectural firm - represent more than 70,000 square feet of newly leased space, said Jason Keadjian of LMI.

The two metal fabricators, which have 28 employees between them, are relocating from elsewhere in the Bay Area, Keadjian said. The two construction firms, BHM Construction and AJF Builders, which are related companies, moved from Davis and Novato, respectively, bringing six full-time employees between them, he added.

Paul Roberts and Partners, an architectural and planning firm, moved its operation and eight employees from Pennsylvania Street in downtown Vallejo to the island, its owner said.

"We plan to buy our own building on the island, and this seemed like a good intermediate step," said Roberts. "Also, there were some safety concerns from being across the street from a high-crime apartment building. But we'd planned to move, anyway."

Roberts said it's a trade-off, but he and his staff are generally happy with the move. "I like downtown, but I like it on the island, too," he said. "It's a nice space and everyone feels it's more peaceful."

The new leases are part of LMI's ongoing efforts to develop the island, Keadjian said. The firm has taken some heat from those who feel it's taking too long to make Mare Island the economic driver many in the city were expecting, Keadjian said, but progress is being made.

"LMI continues to aggressively market Mare Island commercial space," he said. "We have a full-time brokerage team and this is part of our ongoing efforts to market the island."

• Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at 553-6824 or RachelZ@thnewsnet.com.