Cost-cutting move includes showcase LEED-certified offices

SAN RAFAEL – Autodesk Inc., Marin County’s largest technology company, is closing the doors of its sustainability showcase on McInnis Parkway in a cost-cutting move.

The design software giant that occupies space in five different office buildings in Marin is sub-letting about 80,000 square feet in two locations, the company confirmed last week.

The space, representing approximately a quarter of the 353,000 square feet Autodesk leases in San Rafael for its global headquarters and other central and administrative operations, is already in the process of being subleased.

According to Trevor Buck of NAI BT Commercial real estate brokerage, about 20,000 to 25,000 square feet at 1 McInnis Parkway, nearly the entire second floor, is being vacated by Autodesk. Autodesk is also removing its presence from 4000 Civic Center Parkway, where it had leased 60,000 square feet.

Co-managing the sublease are Phil Arnautou of Colliers International and Glen Dowling of Cushman & Wakefield.

Autodesk spokeswoman Colleen Rubart said the move is consistent with Autodesk’s announcement last month that it would cut 750 jobs globally and take other measures to save about $130 million annually.

“It’s the next logical step to overall cost-cutting,” she said, adding that the company will not be leasing space elsewhere in San Rafael. About 300 workers are being moved into Autodesk headquarters at 4040 Civic Center, 111 McInnis and other locations. The company currently employs 1,200 in Marin, 7,000 globally.

Autodesk has subleased space before, notably during the tech slowdown six years ago, when it let go the same 20,000 square feet at 1 McInnis. In December of 2006, it was able to reclaim the space and recently had made it a showcase of the company’s new focus on sustainability.

Last April the space qualified for a LEED Commercial Interiors Gold rating, the first of Autodesk’s 121 locations worldwide and the first office space in Marin to qualify. “It represented quite an effort,” said Ms. Rubart.

During the past few years, Autodesk scrambled to find more space in San Rafael to house its growing headquarters, as acquisitions in many parts of the world necessitated more central staff.

In 2006, steady expansion and several large projects strained the information technology group, which overflowed into nearly 30,000 square feet at the Marin Civic Center. About 222 Autodesk workers took over the third floor of 4040 Civic Center Drive.

Later in the same year, 100 workers moved onto the second floor of 1 McInnis, following the departure of Kabira Technologies, which had leased the space from Autodesk six years before.

Autodesk will be consolidating operations in locations all over the world, Ms. Rubart said, following weakening demand for its computer-aided design tools.

Autodesk provides software and services to the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets.