Google has been on an office space acquisition rampage during recent years, and with all its building teasing and purchases currently has enough capacity to accommodate 30,000 more Bay Area employees. (San Jose Mercury News November 9 2014)
We all know that natural light is a better environment for most employees, and a study by Northwestern University occupants of a workspace containing windows that provide natural light who were more productive at work, more physically active and had a higher quality of life than those who worked in spaces with no access to natural light. (Buildings August 13 2014.) My thoughts, the caliber of the individual putting up with a windowless work environment (call center, back back office, mailroom) might play a part in “quality of life” as well.
Transparent solar energy…Solar luminescent concentrators that are as transparent as glass is under development at Michigan State University – just wait, it won’t be long before your office building roof, windows and even exterior panels will all be solar collectors generating electricity. (Buildings August 22 2014)
In my OfficeTimes newsletter, published every other month, I am challenged to identify even a handful of office tenants over 10,000 sf who have done deals over the past 60 days. Often the total is less than 100,000 sf for the entire East Bay region, including Oakland, Pleasanton and Walnut Creek. To show the stark contrast with San Francisco, just today’s SF Business Times reports Yelp leased another 102,000 sf, Pinterest 100,000 sf, and Uber, 78,000 sf…not a bad week for San Francisco office leasing…
I am usually less optimistic than others about how vibrant and dynamic the East Bay office market is, especially if I am in a room filled with landlord agents. In a number of subregions rents are rising, i.e. Downtown Walnut Creek Class A, but the current vacancy rate at 13.4% is still double-digits. It’s even worse when comparing to San Francisco or the Peninsula, which are on fire, but the East Bay is tepid at best. The Wall Street Journal agrees with me in their article “Bay Area’s Office Boom Stalls in the East. Oakland, Others See Little Evidence of an Uptick” which was published on 10/21/14. (The Wall Street Journal October 21 2014)