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EXCLUSIVE: FoodTech Startup Inks Big Lease As Biotech Downsizes

One of the Bay Area's biggest R&D campuses has a new tenant.

Food-technology company Perfect Day will sublease all 112K SF of lab and office space at 740 Heinz Ave. in Berkeley from Aduro Biotech, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The East Bay property is part of Wareham Development's Aquatic Park Center research and development campus, which totals 800K SF across 16 research buildings near the southwestern edges of Berkeley. 

740 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, California

“We’re delighted to welcome another innovative East Shore company, one doing important work in advancing the boundaries of sustainable food production technology," Wareham Development Director of Asset Management Lisa Vogel said in an emailed statement to Bisnow.

Perfect Day's sublease agreement with Aduro starts with 69.7K SF delivering this year, another 37K SF coming in 2021 and the last 14.4K SF coming in September 2022, according to Aduro's SEC filing.

Perfect Day will pay a base rent starting at $63 per SF per year and rising 3% every year until the term of the sublease expires at the end of 2029.

"As part of the agreement, Perfect Day will have access to an expansive office space and production facility located in Berkeley," Perfect Day said in a statement. 

"This expanded footprint will continue to help accelerate Perfect Day’s business growth – including continuing to expand production capacity, solidifying new partners, and extending its product portfolio."

Under the terms of its original lease with Wareham Development, Aduro has to pay Wareham 50% of the difference between what it receives from Perfect Day and what it owes Wareham under the original lease, minus certain costs and expenses. 

Aduro Biotech first agreed to lease 56.4K SF at 740 Heinz in 2015 at a base rent of $42 per SF per year, rising 3% per year for the second through sixth years of the lease and 2% each year thereafter. It exercised options for an additional 54.4K SF that delivered in 2017 and 2018. 

Perfect Day's base rent obligation over the life of the sublease is $70.8M. It specializes in ways to create animal-free dairy using fermentation and closed a Series C funding round of $300M in June.

Aduro Biotech, an immunotherapy company focused on cancer treatment, said in a statement it is looking for a smaller footprint at 740 Heinz as it works toward finalizing a merger with Chinook Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company with facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

"At this stage, Chinook intends to maintain the space Aduro occupied at the Berkeley facility, at least through a transition period, with a smaller footprint given the aforementioned sublease with Perfect Day," the company said.