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Facebook leases entire Park Tower high-rise [Update]

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Tech mammoth now one of city’s largest commercial tenants

Park Tower (left), 181 Fremont (right).
Park Tower (left), 181 Fremont (right).
Photos by Brock Keeling

Update: Yep, it happened.

Last week, the principal parties were keeping coy or at least mum about the lavish lease, but the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Facebook deal is, well, a done deal.

John Tenanes, vice president of Facebook facilities, confirmed the lease in an emailed statement, saying, “We look forward to joining the San Francisco community.” He also notes that the under-construction Park Tower at 250 Howard “will support our growing workforce.”

With 755,900 square feet in pocket, Facebook will now the city’s third largest third largest tech tenant in the city, according to SF Business Times.

For perspective, Facebook had no stake in San Francisco until midway through 2017. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it rate of expansion illustrates how hot demand for SF office space is these days, as well as a departure from the onetime Silicon Valley wisdom that favored concentrating most or all of your workforce in the valley itself.

The incoming 43-story office building at 250 Howard, dubbed Park Tower and located in the middle of the Transbay development cluster, might have a golden goose of a tech tenant lined up, as the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Facebook plans to lease the entirety of the available space.

The tower by developer John Buck, dubbed Park Tower and under construction on what was previously known as Transbay Block 5, isn’t scheduled for completion until the end of 2018. Chicago-based Goettsch Partners designed the looming office hub, most noteworthy for its 14 sky decks and 50,000-plus square feet of outdoor space.

San Francisco Chronicle separately corroborated the report, but the parties remain mum on official confirmation. The Journal reports that no one at Facebook has commented on any potential deal and the “a broker working on the deal declined to comment other than to say no deal has been signed for Park Tower.”

The prospect of the Menlo Park-based social network gobbling up the entirety of Park Tower’s would leave anyone else hoping to plant a flag in San Francisco’s climbing skyline luckless for at least a few years until other nearby towers become tenant-worthy.

Facebook also leased 436,000 square feet inside the mixed-use building at 181 Fremont—less than 500 feet away from the Howard Street locale and home to a $42 million penthouse—where the company’s Instagram division now calls home.

Before last year, Facebook had no major San Francisco office space. Like many other tech companies, it seems to put a lot of stake and brand identity in its Silicon Valley locale.

But other major players, including Amazon, Google, LinkedIn and, of course, Salesforce have all dropped big money on space in rising buildings in and around Transbay.

The Park Tower acquisition would represent a hard buy into the idea that a foothold in San Francisco is important for company image—and probably more importantly, to giving employees in and near SF briefer commutes and fewer trips on shuttle buses.