The East Bay’s lukewarm office market

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)

Gensler’s Workplace Survey findings

Gensler’s 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey found that employers inadvertently undermine themselves by emphasizing collaborative space over ‘focus’ space… yet tech workers still want and need quiet and collaborative space, sometimes at the same time, sometimes not. As an example of balance, the tech company Tagged occupies 40,000 square feet on two floors, has both open seating areas as well as 35 meeting rooms, a one-to-five worker ratio. (The Registry July 2013)

more people, housing units and jobs in SF

John Rahaim, director of planning for San Francisco, said over the past four years San Francisco added 50,000 new jobs and expects to add about 10,000 people per year over the next two to three years. Projections indicate that by 2040 San Francisco’s population will grow by 200,000 people, need 100,000 more housing units and 200,000 more jobs. (The Registry October 8 2014)

Talent attraction and retention efforts in SF

San Francisco tech companies design their office space to attract and retain talent, foster creativity and appeal to clients. Visa leased 113,000 sf with SF bay views, lots of nearby restaurants, public transit, hotels, and their offices have glass conference rooms, open offices, bench seating as well as workstations. Other companies have community-driven interiors such as open kitchens and abundant informal meeting areas. (The Registry October 8 2014)