September 25, 2015 Updated: Why Uber’s Deal in Oakland Is a Game-Changer for the City and the Region
Uber Technologies Inc.’s blockbuster purchase of Oakland’s Uptown Station is a victory for developer Lane Partners. It’s also a huge boon for Oakland’s already-strong office market and its entire downtown area, according to real estate brokers.
Uber made the deal official Wednesday morning, announcing it purchased the 330,000-square-foot building from Lane Partners for an undisclosed price. The sale will have big repercussions for the city.
Oakland’s central business district had a vacancy rate of 6.7 percent, or 1.1 million square feet in the third quarter, according to Avison Young. With the Uber deal at Uptown Station, that figure falls below 6 percent, a low that rivals that of San Francisco. The city’s rent of around $36 per square foot remains about half of San Francisco’s $70 per square foot, but that number is rising as availability shrinks.
Beyond the economics, Uber’s move across the Bay creates serious gravitational pull to draw more tenants, particularly growing tech companies, said John Dolby, an executive vice president at brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.
The purchase is a vindication of Oakland’s urban assets, including abundant access to transit — the city has three downtown BART stations — and its cultural renaissance. Adding more workers downtown will also likely fuel more restaurants and retail in the area. In Uptown Station itself, Newberry Market & Deli has committed to 20,000 square feet in the ground-floor retail space, leaving 30,000 square feet of retail still available.
“It puts downtown Oakland on the map,” said Dolby, who added that such a deal was “unthinkable a few years ago.”
Read more at San Francisco Business Times