Commercial Real Estate: Another Novato game software maker expands

Santa Monica-based game software maker Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) expanded its development studio at Hamilton Landing in Novato as the team there released a latest installment for one of the hottest-selling games.

The studio now has 23,500 square feet at Hamilton Landing after the late September lease renewal and 10,000-square-foot expansion, according to Cornish & Carey Commerical Newmark Knight Frank's managing North Bay broker, Haden Ongaro. He's part of the marketing team of Brian Eisberg and Mark Carrington for property owner Hamilton Marin, LLC.

[caption id="attachment_63518" align="alignleft" width="224"] Activision Publishing's Skylanders Giants, made by Toys For Bob in Novato, just hit stores. The series is the top-selling kids video game.[/caption]

The Marin game-development team, called Toys For Bob (, created the Skylanders kid-oriented game series, the latest release of which, Skylanders Giants, hit North American stores Oct. 21. Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was the top-selling kids console and handheld videogame last year and so far this year, according to figures the company cited from research firms The NPD Group and GfK as well as internal figures.

A line of action figures that interact with game avatars, and are purchased as virtual and physical products through the game, was the top-seller in that category in the first half of this year, according to NPD figures the company cited.

Activision in 2005 acquired Novato-based game programming company Toys for Bob for an undisclosed price. The two companies worked together on games since 2002. Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford started Toys For Bob in 1989, and Mr. Reiche remains studio executive and creative director.

The Toys For Bob expansion comes as another Hamilton Landing tenant, 2K Games, adds 22,000 more square feet to its headquarters and game-development studios. [See "Game publisher makes big Novato expansion," Oct. 1.]***

Sonoma County’s office and industrial vacancy rates barely changed from high levels of a year before — 22.2 percent of 13.8 million square feet of office space and 13.3 percent of 24.2 million square feet of industrial space in the third quarter of this year, according to Keegan & Coppin/ONCOR International.

Marin County office vacancy rate was 15.5 percent of 9.84 million square feet of class A and B space in the third quarter, down 1.5 percentage points from the third quarter of 2011, according to Cassidy Turley. Class A office vacancy was 23.5 percent of 4.85 million square feet in the third quarter, down from 26.9 percent a year before. Class B vacancy dipped to 8.2 percent 3.58 million square feet from 8.9 percent in that timeframe.

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