SAN JOSE — Lowe Enterprises Investors (LEI), in a joint venture with Vista Investment Group, has acquired a 92,864-square-foot office/research and development building at 2581 Junction Avenue in San Jose.
LEI’s affiliate, Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group (Lowe) provided local acquisition and leasing services and will operate the property. Thinfilm Electronics, Inc. has signed a long-term lease for the entire building which includes a 22,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art clean room that the company will utilize in its production of printed electronics and wafer technology. The property will serve as the new US headquarters for Thinfilm Electronics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norwegian Thinfilm Electronics ASA, and the firm’s NFC Innovation Center.
“This property is well-located in North San Jose, an area that appeals to many firms seeking space in the Silicon Valley. The building is ideal for technology companies as it offers office and laboratory space along with the infrastructure and mechanical systems to support operations,” said Brad Howe, co-CEO of LEI.
The property, designed as connected one- and two-story buildings, is set on 5.4 acres, near the interstates 880 and 101 in North San Jose. This area within the Silicon Valley offers high-quality space for tech companies and easy access to major transportation corridors connecting to other major business centers in the area. LEI will invest in improvements to the building’s interior, landscape and outdoor areas with Lowe overseeing the implementation of the upgrades.
“We’re very excited about the new facility and the role we see it playing in scaling Thinfilm’s manufacturing capabilities,” said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s CEO. “Given the growing market demand for our products, it was vital that we secure a modern facility that not only enables us to ramp current production methods but also fits with our strategic plans for ultra-high volume, roll-to-roll production.”
Thinfilm is an industry leader in near field communications, such as tags and smart systems, often used for product security and consumer engagement. These tags can be found on a range of products such as high end wines and spirits, medical devices and garments. The new Junction Street facility supports the company’s expansion as it is poised to significantly increase production. Renovations to the space for Thinfilm will begin immediately, with occupancy anticipated for the first quarter of 2017.
“We are seeing an increasing trend toward the reuse of R&D facilities in Silicon Valley and are focused on this type of opportunity. While some have been abandoned to be reused as creative office, this property is an example of an established corporate user disposing of a high-value facility, and a new generation high-tech manufacturing firm updating the high-quality infrastructure for next-generation products. Leveraging our local relationships, Lowe identified the property as an ideal fit for ThinFilm’s needs, ” said Alan Chamorro, senior vice president, Lowe, who leads the firm’s Northern California activities.
The acquisition of 2581 Junction is LEI and Lowe’s second transaction in the greater Bay Area in the past month. In September, the company acquired an office building at 500 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek.
Lowe’s activities in the Bay area include the development of the Santa Clara Civic Campus for the County of Santa Clara, the development of a new 127 unit apartment and retail mixed-use project in Oakland, and the recent sale of its 1.8 million square foot N1 development site in San Jose.