[caption id="attachment_28414" align="alignright" width="360" caption="TiNi Aerospace, formerly of San Leandro, purchased and is moving into a two-story building on Kerner Blvd."][/caption]
SAN RAFAEL – Marin County is the new home of TiNi Aerospace, a maker of cutting edge spacecraft components that was previously located in San Leandro.
TiNi owners Diane and Michael Bokaie, residents of Marin, founded TiNi in 1996. The company makes a line of aerospace mechanisms employing Shape Memory Alloys, materials that “remember” and return to an original forged shape when heated.
[caption id="attachment_28415" align="alignright" width="216" caption="TiNi makes spacecraft hold-and-release mechanisms from a shape-shifting alloy that allows deployment during orbi"][/caption]
The most common Shape Memory Alloy is comprised of titanium and nickel, which gives the company its name.
TiNi mechanisms can hold down equipment such as solar panels, antennae and instrument covers during launch and then release it once the craft is in orbit.
The TiNi website lists about 150 customers who use or have used the products, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, NASA and military and university research labs.
The Bokaies paid $2.85 million for the 19,764-square-foot building in the Bayview Business Park.
People familiar with the company said it has about 30 employees.
“Whether they all make the move with the company or TiNi hires new people, that’s more people eating lunch and shopping in the area,” said David Griffis, vice president of marketing for TMC Development, an SBA lender to the company.
According to Jerry Suyderhoud of Cornish & Carey Newmark Knight Frank in Larkspur, which represented the Bokaies in the sale, the company will most likely occupy the ground floor initially and expand into the second floor.
“The area is suitable for light industrial. We assume they’ll be doing some manufacturing or assembly there,” he said.
TiNi has submitted applications to make interior upgrades to the building, which are under review by Marin County.
“It’s a very positive development for Marin,” said Mr. Griffis. “And it’s a positive move for TiNi, which has so far operated in leased facilities. This is an example of the SBA program working at its best.”