Animation subsid to house all staffers in Redwood City

HOLLYWOOD — DreamWorks’ computer animation and special f/x subsid PDI is expanding into a new San Francisco location, leasing 120,000 square feet in a building partly owned by Credit Suisse.

A November move-in is part of PDI’s plan to unite its 300-plus staffers under one roof and to guarantee itself enough space to expand its staff as various future projects ramp up. PDI is currently split into three sites around Palo Alto, outside San Francisco, in comparatively cramped spaces that total 65,000 square feet. A new facility also is being built in Los Angeles.

In a sign of the times in tech-dependent San Fran, the PDI space in the Pacific Shores Center in Redwood City, became available after Internet ad firm BroadVision scaled back its occupancy plans. The DreamWorks’ lease is one of the largest the area’s battered commercial real estate market has seen all year.

Aside from its animation work on pics like “Antz” and “Shrek,” PDI has generated f/x for pics including “Forces of Nature,” “Mission: Impossible 2,” “The Peacemaker,” “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and the upcoming Steven Spielberg pic “Minority Report.” It creates CG visuals for commercials as well.

The company is busy animating the computer-generated pics “Shrek 2″ and “Madagascar.”

Launched in 1980, PDI was acquired by DreamWorks in 2000.

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