Uber is already building its headquarters in San Francisco's Mission Bay, but now the $50 billion company is getting ready to make an announcement that will likely change the face of Oakland. As the San Francisco Business Times reports, Uber will be moving part of its workforce into the former Sears Building, now to be known as Uptown Station, when the refurbished project is ready for occupants. Last year, developer Lane Partners bought the building, which sits in a prime location atop the 19th Street BART station (although BART access seems less important for Uber employees who could surely just take an UberX to work.) It has been undergoing a $40 million renovation led by architecture firm Gensler that will have it ready for 3,000 employees occupying six floors.
The Beaux Arts building itself opened more than 85 years ago as H.C.
Capsule's Capwell's department store. In recent years, it served as a Sears, a usage that seemed to cheapen its beautiful bones. It boasts high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and an 85-foot atrium, which has been rendered in an interactive 360 degree view by Steelblue. In its new incarnation, the first floor is set to hold retail and a food hall, while the rooftop would include fire pits and picnic tables.
So what does this mean for Oakland? Although the city already has tech tenants like Pandora, the new Uber deal is by far the biggest for a city that hasn't seen the same flood of new investment that its Bay Area neighbors have experienced. According to the San Francisco Business Times, if Oakland fills all of Uptown Station's workspace, it would become the city's largest employer that isn't a government agency or medical center. The new development could give a boost to city in the eyes of investors interested in building new housing or other projects.
· SHoP Architects' Uber Headquarters Will Arrive in Approximately 1 Million Minutes [Curbed SF]
· Uber Shakes Up Real Estate Market with Massive Lease in Oakland's Former Sears Building [SF Business Times]
· Atrium 360 [steelblue]
· Uptown Station Oakland [Official Site]