Bechtel Lands At Bishop Ranch

By Sharon Simonson

Nearly two dozen companies including a unit of San Francisco’s Bechtel Corp. have signed new leases in the last 60 days to occupy in excess of 50,000 square feet at Bishop Ranch, according to Sunset Development Co., the owner and operator of the massive San Ramon business-community park.

Sunset has undertaken a project to improve not quite 19,000 square feet for Bechtel Communications, which is expected to occupy Nov. 1, said Edward Hagopian, an executive vice president for the property developer.

Twenty small businesses have leased the balance of the space including ConneXsys Engineering Inc., RJR Partners and Actura Inc., according to Sunset. “After we did the PG&E lease, we have done leases with two or three of their suppliers,” Hagopian said. “There is a synergy in Bishop Ranch that suppliers of other companies want to be near each other.”

Bishop Ranch is perhaps best known as the headquarters location for Chevron Corp., which has not quite 1.5 million square feet, or as a regional headquarters for AT&T Corp., which occupies 2.2 million square feet.

More recently, General Electric Global Research announced that it had selected Bishop Ranch for its new Global Software Center. GE expects to employ 400 software professionals at the San Ramon location beginning in mid-2012. The company leased 125,000 square feet.

But Bishop Ranch also has 250 small businesses operating in spaces as tiny as 150 square feet up to 5,000 square feet, Hagopian said. “Within Bishop Ranch, we have over 700,000 square feet of space occupied by folks in the small-business community.”

“It’s everything from accountants to high-tech start-ups to engineers to insurance agents and lawyers,” he said.

The 585-acre campus has nine million square feet of offices in 30 buildings. Sunset owns half the square footage.

Bechtel, which is privately owned, is the largest general contracting company in the country, according to Engineering News-Record. The company had revenues of $32.9 billion last year and new contract awards valued at $53 billion.

Bechtel Communications designs and builds wireless and wireline communications networks, taking projects from beginning to end, from network planning and site acqusition to engineering, construction and post-construction network testing and optimization, according to its Web site.

A Bechtel spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

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