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Major S.F. tech company eyes one of Oakland’s largest vacant office buildings

San Francisco-based fintech Square Inc. has eyed Oakland for a big lease, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The payments processing company reportedly looked at Uptown Station, a 356,000-square-foot refurbished, mixed-use building that is one of the largest blocks of office space available in Oakland.

“There are large tech tenants looking at Uptown, but none have landed yet,” Edward Del Beccaro, a managing director of Transwestern, told the Chronicle.

Landlord CIM Group has been chasing tenants for the space since it bought the building in December 2017 for $180 million. The approximately $40 million renovation of Uptown Station by Truebeck Construction is expected to finish early next year.

CIM picked up the property at 1955 Broadway from Uber Technologies, which had planned to move up to 2,000 employees into the space, but decided to consolidate in San Francisco instead.

Square has been on a growth tear as of late. Over the summer, it added 104,100 square feet to its San Francisco headquarters at 1455 Market St. for a total of 469,000 square feet there. It is also growing outside the Bay Area and internationally.

In addition to Uptown Station, Oakland has a handful of similar historic rehabs, including projects from TMG Partners and Harvest Properties.

Read more on San Francisco Business Times

Is proximity to mass transit becoming less of a draw for apartment renters?

In the few years since companies like Uber and Lyft began to offer their ride sharing and carpooling options to riders in San Francisco, the premium earned by apartments near mass transit has dropped.

Apartment dwellers have traditionally been willing to pay a premium to live near mass transit stops in urban markets. But fueled by the proliferation of ride-sharing services, a rise in use of electric vehicles and other factors, that allure has begun to lessen in the Golden Gate City and that effect could spread elsewhere, according to new findings from MetLife Investment Management.

“When we look at what makes real estate assets most attractive to tenants, access to transit has traditionally been near the top of the list,” says Adam Ruggiero, head of real estate research for MetLife, which recently released its new report, “On the Road Again: How Advances in Transportation Are Shaping the Future of Real Estate.”

Apartment renters have more options to get around, which may be diluting the amount of extra rent that they are willing to pay to live near a subway stop or light rail station. In the few years since companies like Uber and Lyft began to offer their ride sharing and carpooling options to riders in San Francisco, the premium earned by apartments near mass transit has dropped—but not disappeared.

“It might lower the spread but it does not erase the spread,” says Justin Bakst, director of capital markets for CoStar Risk Analytics, which provided data for the MetLife report.

The introduction of ride sharing and carpooling services in San Francisco coincided with a decline in rental premiums for on-transit apartments (defined properties within a five-minute walk of a transit stop) from a historical average of 20 percent to only 15 percent today, according to the MetLife report

 

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

 

 

Uber sells Uptown Station HQ to Oakland firm

Uber announced in August that it was putting Uptown Station—the new mixed-use development right downtown in the onetime Sears building on Broadway that only recently shed the white plastic cocoon that enshrouded it during rehab—up for sale without ever moving a single employee into its planned headquarters.

But it didn’t take long for an interested buyer to start making eyes at the circa 1929 Beaux-Arts building.

Back in October, the San Francisco Business Times reported that the Oakland-base investment firm CIM Group planned to buy the whole 356,000-square-foot building for $175 million.

As Tuesday morning, CIM announced the sale via press release. The announcement doesn’t include the sale price, and spokesperson Karen Diehl tells Curbed SF “CIM never discusses financial arrangements.”

Uber previous paid $123.5 million for the place, putting millions more into the rehab.

Read more from Curbed SF

Ride Sharing and Driverless Cars Are Game-Changers for Real Estate and Cities

The coming wave of ride-hailing companies and driverless cars will push down levels of vehicle ownership, reduce parking demand, and transform the way that city planners, real estate owners, and consumers interact with urban space, a panel of experts said at the ULI Fall Meeting.

Consumer adoption of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft has already started affecting how some private urban developments and municipal projects are built, but the large-scale implementation of autonomous vehicles over the next decade will have even more wide-ranging implications—both positive and negative—real estate and transportation officials said during a panel discussion in Los Angeles.

Read more from Urban Land Magazine

Uber Might Make More Money This Year Selling Real Estate in Oakland Than Actually Selling Rides

Uber looks like it’s on track to make more money selling a building it owns in Oakland, California, than it has selling rides over the last 10 months. In 2015, Uber bought the old Sears building in downtown Oakland with the intention of moving 3,000 of its employees to an expanded headquarters in the smaller, less–filthy-rich city just across the Bay from San Francisco, which the company currently calls home.

That never happened. And now Uber is selling its 380,000-square foot building to the CIM Group, a Los Angeles–based real estate investment firm, for $220 million, according to a report from the Registry, a website that covers Bay Area real estate deals. Uber bought the building in 2015 for $123.5 million, but after never moving in as planned, the company announced in August that it was considering putting the building up for sale.

Read more from Slate

CIM Group in contract to buy Uber’s Oakland building

CIM Group is in contract to buy Uber Technologies Inc.’s Oakland building, according to three sources familiar with the property.

CIM, already one of Oakland’s biggest landlords, agreed to pay $175 million for the 380,000-square-foot Uptown Station property, said a source. CIM will have to invest an additional $50 million in construction costs to complete the renovation project, said the source. The deal hasn’t closed, sources said.

Read more from San Francisco Business Times