Not too long ago, the circa 1929 Beaux-Arts building in Oakland now known as Uptown Station was meant to be the East Bay home of Uber, which had ambitious plans for the historic and recently refurbished locale.
But Uber sold the building almost exactly a year ago, netting $175 million from Oakland-based investment firm CIM Group but leaving the future of the sometimes neglected unofficial landmark up in the air.
On Thursday, CIM and Square announced that the SF-based payment app company owned by Twitter CEO (and Benioff antagonist) Jack Dorsey will lease much of the building, completing the locale’s long transition into an East Bay tech hub.
“Square has signed a lease for the entire office space in the iconic Uptown Station building,” according to a Thursday press release from both companies, a deal covering more than 350,000 square feet.
The building at 1955 Broadway first opened as an HC Capwell department store in the ‘20s, at the time apparently a very big ticket for Oakland as thousands showed up to see the mayor overturn the first shovelful of dirt on the future shopping hub.
Eventually the building transitioned into being a Sears store instead, and for many years now has laid mostly dormant.
Developer Lane Partners spearheaded efforts to turn the disused retail Mecca into a new mixed-use office building before selling to Uber in 2016.
Square won’t actually move in until the end of 2019, possibly because CIM Group is still overseeing work that’s being done on the nearly century-old building.
“Oakland is committed to attracting businesses whose values align with our community. [...] I believe Square can be that company,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Thursday.
Schaaf previously touted Uber’s planned entry into Oakland as a tech coup for the town, only to see the rug pulled out from underneath that project.
But now it seems a square deal is finally in the works.