Facebook In Talks For 1M SF In Sunnyvale

Jay Paul Co.’s Moffett Towers II in Sunnyvale is all leased up, and Facebook could be one of its main tenants.

Facebook is said to have leased about 1M SF in three out of the five buildings within the office complex, the East Bay Times reports. This could allow Facebook to move about 5,000 to 6,000 employees into Sunnyvale.

Facebook would not be a new tenant for Jay Paul Co.; the social media giant leased all of Jay Paul Co.’s 445K SF office space at 181 Fremont last year.

While Facebook did not confirm the leases, one of the site’s brokers, Newmark Knight Frank Vice Chairman Phil Mahoney, confirmed with the East Bay Times that all five buildings have been leased to unspecified tenants.

Two of the five buildings within Moffett Towers II are nearing completion and a third is under construction.

Amazon already leased one 350K SF building at Moffett Towers II and leases about 1M SF throughout Sunnyvale.

Outside of its growth throughout Menlo Park, which includes an expansion of its headquarters as well as a proposed Willow Campus, Facebook has leased space in Fremont and may also sublease 475K SF from WeWork at the Village at San Antonio in Mountain View.

Read more from Bisnow

 

 

Housing for North Berkeley BART?

BART and city leaders recently took the first steps toward a mixed-use housing development on the station’s parking lots, but there’s still a long road ahead.

In its early days, BART bulldozed houses to build massive parking lots for commuters to San Francisco, devastating several low-income communities in the East Bay. But then in the mid-1990s, the transit agency started a shift toward building housing, office, and retail around its stations instead. And during the past 15 years or so, the agency has been planning developments at most of its stations with surface parking lots — including projects at Ashby station in Berkeley and at most of its above-ground Oakland stations.

But the stations surrounding some of BART’s most desirable real estate have been excluded from development planning so far. For example, despite high home prices around the Rockridge BART station in North Oakland and the fact that it’s only a 20-minute ride to downtown San Francisco, BART has produced no development plans for the area to date.

For North Berkeley, a 25-minute ride from San Francisco, BART has at least considered building on the land. An overview of BART’s transit-oriented development strategy provided to this reporter last year included a map of existing, planned, and future development. North Berkeley was listed as a site for potential future development with 100-percent affordable housing, but BART had no more specific plans than that.

Read more from East Bay Express

 

 

San Francisco and Oakland Rents Inch up but Remain below Peak

Having ended last year lower than where they started, asking rents for apartments in San Francisco have inched up around one percent over the past two months, in part due to the typical seasonality in rents.

And in fact, based on a comparison of roughly 2,600 listings, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in San Francisco, including one-off rentals as well as units in larger developments, is currently running around $4,100 a month, which is 0.9 percent lower versus the same time last year and 8.5 percent below its peak in the fourth quarter of 2015 with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom still running around $3,400 a month having ticked down from around $3,650.

At the same time, the weighted average asking rent for an apartment in Oakland is currently running around $2,450 a month which is 0.5 percent higher than at the same time last year but still 18 percent lower than a mid-2016 peak with the average asking rent for a one-bedroom still running around $2,100 a month, which remains around 40 percent cheaper than in San Francisco.

Read more from SocketSite

 

 

Scott Wiener’s controversial housing bill gained a big supporter in BART

The fight over SB 827, a proposed law from California State Sen. Scott Wiener to upzone development sites near transit centers, has supporters and detractors lining up in due course.

If approved by the legislature, the law would limit local control over density, parking spaces and heights for housing projects within a certain distance to transit stops. Proponents of the law pitch a symbiosis between housing development and transit options, with the proximity of the two mitigating traffic congestion.

Recently, the effort to pass the law added the region’s most heavily trafficked public transportation system as a proponent: Bay Area Rapid Transit. Earlier this month the BART Board narrowly voted 5-4 to support the measure.

In many cases, building on transit agency sites takes decades, with negotiations with multiple government agencies, substantial community input, difficulties with financing and expensive parking requirements all playing a role.

BART has shown a willingness to support transit oriented development before, approving a policy in 2016 that encourages 20,000 homes to be built on its land by 2040.

Read more from San Francisco Business Times

 

 

Three Reasons Commercial Real Estate Professionals Should Be More Open To Tech

The real estate industry isn’t exactly known for being receptive to new technology.

Many in the industry view technology as unnecessary, as countless people have built real estate empires and made untold millions from hammering the phones. Today, though, it’s getting harder and harder to compete in real estate without technology. In particular, there are three distinct advantages of technology that should have real estate professionals more open to adopting new developments.

Read more from Forbes

Five Workplace Trends The Commercial Real Estate Industry Must Prepare For

The most significant innovations of the last century have a couple of common elements: They solved simple problems in the lives of everyday people, and almost nobody recognized that these problems needed to be solved.

Legend has it that Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Modern transportation, internet you can take with you, the ability to easily connect with someone on the other side of the planet — no one really wanted these things before they were invented. But soon after these innovations became widely available, people could not imagine life without them. Chances are, you never knew you needed a smartphone. But now, imagine giving it up for a day and being without directions in your pocket or the answer to any question at your fingertips. There’s simply no going back.

But despite such large shifts, one daily environment has remained stubbornly unchanged for decades: the office.

Despite a tight labor market putting pressure on employers to attract talent, the vast majority of the corporate workforce still works in dull, cubicle-laden office buildings, designed solely for space efficiency and with no regard for human-centered design. Yet we know environments can have a profound impact on our mental health and work output, and we know that experience matters more and more for the next generation of leaders. The office of today is not very conducive to the innovative thinking needed to create the products of tomorrow.

As the co-founder of a workplace hospitality platform, I’ve consistently heard from the 250,000 people who walk through our doors each year that they want their own offices to look and feel more like the ones shared and alternative workspaces provide on a short-term basis, replete with more flexibility, choice and experience in their office environment.

That means that we need to forget “office” and start thinking in terms of “workplace” — a mindset shift that will help commercial real estate professionals understand the trends that will challenge our industry’s most fundamental assumptions in the coming years.

Read more from Forbes

 

 

Could cryptocurrency be the future of real estate buying?

In August 2014, a secret buyer contacted the realty arm of Martis Camp, a luxury real estate community in North Lake Tahoe in California, with an unorthodox deal: a purchase of land for 2,739 Bitcoins. At the time, the cryptocurrency that recently turned the Brothers Winklevoss into a pair of Bitcoin billionaires was worth about $580 per coin. Multiply that 2,739 times over, and the buyer paid $1.6 million for a 1.4-acre piece of land.

“Many of our buyers are in the tech sector and are early adopters of Bitcoin. We understand the importance of adapting to cutting-edge purchasing methods,” said Martis Camp sales director Brian Hull, who described the buyer only as a “Silicon Valley entrepreneur.”

That Bitcoin-financed real estate transaction was one of the largest, but it was not the first. Five months earlier, in March 2014, another secret buyer purchased a villa in Bali for 800 Bitcoins, or roughly the equivalent of $500,000. Two months later, a suburban home in Kansas City, Missouri, sold for the same amount. Last September, a buyer—identified only as working in the tech industry—bought a single-family home in Austin, Texas.

Most of these transactions involved the buyer converting Bitcoin into U.S. dollars to make the purchase—a liquidation of assets, much in the same way a first-time homebuyer might use investment dollars to afford a down payment.

Then, in late December, what was considered to be the first Bitcoin-only real estate deal went down when Ivan “Paychecks” Pacheco, co-founder of cryptocurrency website Bits to Freedom, transferred 17.741 Bitcoins ($275,000) to a seller to buy a two-bedroom condo in Miami. In early February, Bitcoin investor Michael Komaransky sold his Miami mansion in a deal where the buyer—again, anonymous—paid the $6 million listing price almost entirely in Bitcoins (455, to be exact).

Read the full article from Curbed

Central SoMa Plan Could Add 11 Stories To Pinterest’s HQ

If the city moves forward with an ambitious plan to guide office and housing development in Central SoMa, Pinterest hopes to add a vertical 11-story addition to its headquarters at 505 Brannan St.

A proposal filed by TMG Partners, one of the original six-story building developers, includes an 11-story addition that would add 165,000 square feet to the site and bring its height to 240 feet.

The current building offers 129,450 square feet in office space and is 85 feet tall, but the site is permitted for a structure 250 feet tall, according to SF Planning documents.

The addition is anticipated to cost $38 million.

Read the full article from Hoodline

Oakland creates new policy director position to deal with housing crisis

Mayor Libby Schaaf has named Darin Ranelletti as the city’s first policy director for housing security, a position the mayor created and hopes will help ease Oakland’s affordable housing crisis.

Ranelletti is no stranger around City Hall: He has spent the past 15 years in the planning and building department, most recently as the interim director. In his new policy role, Ranelletti is expected to promote new housing available to all income levels and work to protect longtime residents from being pushed out of Oakland’s market.

“This new position gives the Mayor’s Office the resources needed to address the housing crisis effectively and with urgency,” Schaaf said in a statement Thursday. “Darin’s 360-degree perspective begins with his work in the City’s Planning & Building Department to increase Oakland’s housing production at a record pace this year, as well as his recent efforts to protect tenants and safeguard our city’s affordable housing stock. He also has a deep passion and commitment to equity.”

Read more at East Bay Times

Facebook Files $303M Permit For Construction At Menlo Park Campus

Facebook is gearing up for construction of a $303M building as part of its headquarters expansion project in Menlo Park. The social media giant plans to build a four-story, 464K SF building as part of the western development of its campus, according to BuildZoom. Facebook also has been working toward creating a mixed-use village called Willow Campus off Willow Road in Menlo Park, which would include housing, retail and a 1.75M SF office. The tech company has filed permits over the last five years worth over $1B. At its headquarters, construction of Building 22, which is designed by Frank Gehry, will include a connecting bridge between buildings 22 and 21. The project includes the demolition of buildings 301, 302, 303, 304 and 306, which will be replaced by the four-story structure. The tech company filed a $73M permit in October for a seven-story above-grade parking garage to be adjacent to Building 22, also known as MPK 22.

Read more from Bisnow