By Meghan Hall
A San Francisco-based food company has turned its sights to the East Bay, settling on a new spot in Alameda. Eat Just Inc., which specializes in producing plant-based alternatives to egg products, has signed a 117,000 square foot lease at the Research Park at Marina Village in Alameda. The deal was formally solidified last week, according to the parties involved.
The property is owned by DRA Advisors and Blue Rise Ventures and is part of a larger 1.4 million square foot waterfront campus. The research park is home to more than 400,000 square feet and 25 different life sciences companies and research tenants. Campus amenities include a free tenant lounge and conference center, outdoor showers, Peloton bikes and two tenant boat slips. Kayaks and paddle boards are available for use, as are outdoor showers.
“This is personal to us and we like to treat our tenants like partners. I grew up in the food industry and so I live for the food tech side,” said Blue Rise Ventures Managing Partner Dan Poritzky. “…Some of these companies took a chance coming to Alameda (instead of South San Francisco/Emeryville/Berkeley). We are grateful for that and want to do everything we can to help them succeed.”
JLL’s Scott Miller, Sam Swan and Grant Yeatman, as well as Newmark’s Jay Leslie, Daniel Pivnick and Ben Stern, worked to broker the deal.
The buildings that Eat Just plans to occupy are located along Atlantic Way, and Eat Just has committed to leasing the space for 10 years. The buildings are within proximity of Alameda Landing, a Target and Safeway-anchored shopping center, Webster Square, which features eateries, as well as Mariner Square Athletic Club, Jean Sweeney Open Space Park and the Marina Village Marina. A variety of other companies call the research park home, including Scribe Therapeutics, Iota Biosciences, which specializes in bioelectric medicine, and TerViva, a sustainable agriculture company, among others.
“We are thrilled to welcome Eat Just to The Research Park,” explained David Farrell, associate with Blue Rise Ventures. “Our ecosystem of life science tenants features a range of sciences and sizes, with some already growing within the park. Tenants have taken advantage of our generous tenant improvement packages and in-house life science construction managers to build exactly what they need. We also placed an emphasis on providing amenities that take advantage of the campus size and location, such as ferry service and partnerships with local businesses.”
Eat Just, a privately-owned company, specializes in the development of plant-based alternatives to egg products. Many of its products are derived from Mung Beans, which Eat Just states is a healthier alternative to eggs, but a more environmentally conscious one, as well. Its products include takes on Egg Sous Vide and folded eggs for breakfast sandwiches.
The vacancy rate for office and research and development space at the end of 2020 sat at 15.7 percent at the end of the year in the Oakland and East Bay markets. However, despite space give backs—with nearly 1.1 million square feet of availabilities—rents ticked up, reaching $4.44 per square foot on a monthly, full-service basis. However, the East Bay market could soften in the coming months as the economy adjusts to pandemic-related vacancies and fluctuations in the commercial real estate market.
A recent report released by Cushman & Wakefield indicates that at the end of the year, Northern and Southern Alameda had more than 3.859 million square feet of inventory. Vacancy rates in the two submarkets sat at 31 percent and 15.3 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, respectively. Northern Alameda retained rents of $4.13 per square foot, while rents in Southern Alameda remained cheaper, at $2.28 across all asset classes.