Monday, June 2, 2008

More high-tech companies in Fremont

George Avalos of the Contra Costa Times writes that more tech companies will expand in Fremont.

Two high-tech companies and a food and water purifying firm have all signed deals to expand in Fremont or move their operations there. The expansions mean more jobs for Fremont.

"We are well positioned to provide a home for growing computer technology, clean technology and life sciences companies," said Lori Taylor, the city of Fremont economic development manager.

The new deals in Fremont include:

  • Super Micro Computer Inc. The San Jose-based maker of high-end mother boards and servers rented 246,000 square feet of production and warehouse space. The deal was handled by commercial realty brokers from CB Richard Ellis and Colliers International.
  • Asus Computer International, which was already in Fremont, leased 153,000 square feet. The maker of computer, consumer electronics and communications products said the new building represents a significant expansion of its operations.
  • PurFresh Inc. has moved its operations and headquarters from Livermore. The maker of technology to purify food and water rented 30,000 square feet in its new home.

    "We needed room to grow," David Cope, president and chief executive officer, said of the PurFresh relocation. "We found that real estate is becoming less expensive in Fremont compared with the Livermore area.''

    PurFresh moved about 52 workers to Fremont as part of the move, Cope said. The company moved into a building that allows for plenty of expansion, if that's needed.

    "We could probably double our head count," Cope said. "We have a bunch of open space in the building."

    Fremont may have an advantage in rental costs over areas besides the Tri-Valley, said Joe Elliott, a Colliers broker.

    "Compared to the rest of Silicon Valley, Fremont has more affordable space," Elliott said.

    Room for expansion also was a factor for Super Micro, which has been growing rapidly in recent years near its San Jose headquarters, said Michael Kalodrich, a spokesman for the high-tech company.

    About 50 people are working at Super Micro's new Fremont complex. But that number should grow.

    "It's a huge facility," Kalodrich said. "So that head count could multiply several times over the next year or two."

    Asus Computer needed more room as well, but it had to confront an extra complication from the potential construction of a baseball stadium and other projects in Fremont. Asus is currently located near the site of the proposed Oakland Athletics ballpark.

    "With the stadium, a lot of things are going to be built," said Cher Chronis, director of marketing communications with Asus. "I understand lease rates have increased exponentially in that area."

    Asus was unable to re-negotiate its lease with the company's current landlord.

    Plus, the company's business has grown strongly in recent years, said Debby Lee, an Asus spokeswoman.

    More expansions could head Fremont's way.

    "We are getting a lot of inquiries from a number of companies," the city's Taylor said.

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