November 13, 2013

Google Rumored To Be Making A Big Move In San Francisco

Salesforce Mission Bay Rendering

Rumors amongst San Francisco’s commercial brokerage community have Google in discussion to either buy the 14-acre Mission Bay parcel that Salesforce decided not to develop with 1.9 million square feet of potential office space or circling the 1.3 million square foot Transbay Tower, the foundation for which is underway.

First Published: November 13, 2013 4:30 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

And Tipster rolls over in his internet grave...

Posted by: lyqwyd at November 13, 2013 4:43 PM

YES! Twitter, some of Yahoo, and now Google! Whose next? Facebook maybe?

Posted by: Alex at November 13, 2013 4:48 PM

Yes! this can happen.

Wow! NV real estate is gonna freak out.

Posted by: Futurist at November 13, 2013 4:50 PM

Wow! Not just NV real estate, but real estate all over the city, as they would now be close enough to live in northern neighborhoods as well.

Posted by: anon94123 at November 13, 2013 4:53 PM

You people do realize that most of the employees that would end up in either of these rumored campuses already live in SF and would simply stop commuting, right?

Posted by: Michael at November 13, 2013 4:58 PM

This is a good thing. It means fewer people will have to commute to the peninsula and much less crowded Caltrain.

Posted by: Mike at November 13, 2013 5:11 PM

Fun fact: 1.1 million sq feet in office space have already been allocated for office space on the lots, but Google will have to move fast if it wants to add space beyond that - the annual office limit is on track to be depleted in the next year or so.

Posted by: Joel at November 13, 2013 5:22 PM

Those buses must be really expensive.

Maybe they're going to work in a Google stadium on the pier and make the Warriors play on a floating barge during their free lunch entertainment?

Posted by: wcsf at November 13, 2013 5:24 PM

This explains the top of the Transbay Tower - turns out the whole thing is a ginormous flash drive, and the alien mothership will be able to dock on top and download all it needs to know about humanity from its Googly servants. :)

Posted by: Sierrajeff at November 13, 2013 5:26 PM

Not surprised. Not surprised at all.

Posted by: Can't think of Cool Name at November 13, 2013 6:32 PM

Have been expecting them to take Transbay. Will be more of a worldwide marketing statement than Mission Bay.

If MB tho, hope they somehow stimulate the too slowly evolving ferry system.

Posted by: Invented at November 13, 2013 6:44 PM

Given the BS involved in building in SF it makes much more sense for Google to grab the Transbay Tower, and let a developer work out the Mission Bay project.

It would actually be pretty insane for any Large Name Company to build in SF due to the nickle and dime mentality of the board of supervisors and local communities. It makes more sense and its a much smaller headache to just take existing commercial stock either new or dated and build it out to meet a companies needs.

Posted by: Joseph A at November 13, 2013 7:24 PM

They should build it on a huge barge with fake sails...oh wait.

Posted by: etslee at November 13, 2013 8:21 PM

What "Joseph A" said. Google should look at CPMC and ask, "Do I have 5 years to burn?" I suppose if the answer is yes, they should go ahead and roll their own solution.

I say go vertical. Set an example and start getting serious about sustainability.

Posted by: taco taco at November 13, 2013 9:55 PM

People are saying yay Noe (looking at you Futrist). But it will be the neighborhoods with good biking access to Transbay that will really benefit from a move to a location that makes the most sense. Hello wiggle neighborhoods. Why live in Noe and deal with hills if you are working at Transbay? I wouldn't.

Posted by: Craig at November 13, 2013 10:28 PM

Yay mission!

I mean, the new, new mission.

I bet FB will come in also. Zucky is already hanging out in Mission Dolores, and it's obvs to him that a majority of his workers prefer SF to Shallow Alto.

Jus hang on to your SF RE and enjoy the next few years...

I wonder if big moves like this will finally transform the Excelsior and 3rd st/Bayview?

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster) at November 13, 2013 10:53 PM

LOL, some of these comments are not only insightful but hilarious as fek ;)

Posted by: Dave at November 13, 2013 11:44 PM

Mission Bay is still far less lively than the downtown. Transit option is lot more limited. But if Google make a major commitment there it could be transformative and and turn it into an active business center. Which in turn could make T-Third an important route.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at November 14, 2013 7:43 AM

I'm not as convinced all of these potential workers will flood the Mission, lower haight and etc... I can see a lot moving to Oakland and taking Bart in every day. If I were one of these workers I would wave goodbye to the Mission and say hello to the Lake Merritt bart stop. Hell maybe even Fruitvale.

As noted above, I would be willing to bet a lot of the workers that would be in the SF location, already live in SF and commute to Mountain View. Therefore the Mission makes the most sense for them, give them an SF work location and a sizable percentage will flood the east bay

Posted by: Sam at November 14, 2013 7:44 AM

Maybe Google can finagle a way ($$$) to get approval for a few more floors on the Transbay Tower (Mayor Lee would surely burst with glee if Google moved its HQ here), and then we won't have to play 2nd fiddle to that oversided Korean Air billboard they're building in Los Angeles...

Posted by: Sierrajeff at November 14, 2013 8:10 AM

Yes, adding the previously-chopped floors back to the trans terminal would be awesome.

Posted by: Snark17 at November 14, 2013 8:15 AM

Apple gets the Circle and Facebook has the Gehry campus. I would wager there is some interest from Larry and Sergei in leaving a more meaningful architectural mark in the world than the offices they currently inhabit. The cobbled-together row of Google offices near Shoreline (namelink) in Mountain View is very Windows NT in vintage.

Also, spending spare cash on sweet digs is apparently justifiable to shareholders. They may be more interested in cool factor than optimizing a corporate finance spreadsheet. The TT is going to look pretty corporate, no?

But the observation about headaches re: SF planning seem apt.

Posted by: soccermom at November 14, 2013 8:30 AM

That area is far less convenient for BART and MUNI riders than the Transbay Ctr or the current Hills Bros campus, but it's really surprising how little that plays into many RE decisions. Adjacency to the UCSF Med Center and Gladstone are a plus for a company like Google that's really about Big Data.

Would this mean we could get a restaurant back at the former Gordon Biersch location?

Posted by: elbee at November 14, 2013 9:02 AM

My favorite comment of the thread: "I wonder if big moves like this will finally transform the Excelsior"

Not even an f'in clue what is going on

Posted by: zig at November 14, 2013 9:31 AM

Hmm... I see the Excelsior getting a makeover sooner than the Fruitvale district. But whatever. This would be extremely bullish for SF real estate, and to a lesser extent the nice areas along the BART lines in the East Bay.

Posted by: rabbits at November 14, 2013 9:39 AM

Why aren't they moving to the up and coming state of Texas? I hear they have cheap real estate there and that there are no state income taxes. The business climate is really friendly according to the governor, and Google could join the other 200 companies that have moved this year.

Posted by: djt at November 14, 2013 10:24 AM

^Texas has been up and coming for 160+ years.

Posted by: lol at November 14, 2013 10:38 AM

Yes!!! We need more geeks & nerds in the city, more more more please!

Posted by: alteryx at November 14, 2013 10:55 AM

Why aren't they moving to the up and coming state of Texas?

Because [of] Rick Perry.

Posted by: rill_talk at November 14, 2013 11:14 AM

I'd pull for them to be at the Trans Bay...better transit options.

Posted by: DanRH at November 14, 2013 11:27 AM

These people already live in the city. They don't need to move. If they did, there are (and will be) plenty of units available in Mission Bay, Mid Market and SOMA... If anyone should be ready for a flood of whatever you call it, its Dog Patch and Lower Potrero. South Beach already welcomes this crowd.

Posted by: Rob at November 14, 2013 12:19 PM

"These people already live in the city."

We're all speculating here, but if Google does transfer significant functions from Mountain View to San Francisco, then some of the affected employees will indeed live in San Francisco, while others will live farther south.

Posted by: Tim Bracken at November 14, 2013 12:41 PM

This reminds me how lucky we are Benioff never built that ugly monstrosity in Mission Bay. Glad to hear SV firms are seeking a larger presence in SF. This is only good for anyone who lives here. Prices be damned! Just be glad you're not some poor jerk who just graduated and is looking to move to SF.

Posted by: Bravo at November 14, 2013 1:24 PM

This is great, fewer buses on the 101. Oh wait, but Google employees are tech workers and we hate those. But maybe they will displace hipsters whom we also hate. But oh no, real estate and coffee and toast will get more expensive. But wait, it's more tax revenue for the city and we need to invest in transit.

Geezus, people...

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at November 14, 2013 1:58 PM

I nominate formidable for post of the day!

Posted by: lyqwyd at November 14, 2013 2:34 PM

I saw Rick Perry being interviewed the other day; he was wearing glasses. I think he believes voters are as dumb as everyone thinks he is...

Posted by: Rillion at November 14, 2013 2:41 PM

Zig- trust me, I have a clue all right. May I remind you, who's the one here that's living off his SF RE investments?

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster) at November 14, 2013 10:53 PM

The slobber emiting from all of you drooling landlords, used house salesmen, and developerverts is revolting.

Posted by: two beers at November 15, 2013 1:18 AM

Why aren't they moving to the up and coming state of Texas?

Because Texas is full of scary angry white people with guns.

(Who don't believe in global warming!)

Posted by: lark at November 15, 2013 9:11 AM

Why aren't they moving to the up and coming state of Texas?

For the same reasons I don't move to Texas. You only live once, and who wants to spend that one life in Texas with a bunch of Texans?

Posted by: anon at November 15, 2013 9:16 AM

They have nice BBQ ribs.

Posted by: poor.ass.millionaire (formerly 49yo hipster) at November 15, 2013 9:33 AM

If Google does this, then please God, make them paint the buildings colors other than those stupid corporate primary colors they use.

In a world full of millions of amazing colors and Google decides to stick with just 5 crayons for EVERYTHING it does. YAWN.

Posted by: Gregg at November 15, 2013 12:19 PM

Google is already building a new campus in Mountain View. I am skeptical that they are looking at picking up 1m+ sf of commercial space in SF to move their headquarters. They probably could use some more space for sales operations, a few projects that engineers don't want to work on, and (I'd bet) the Google Ventures team is lobbying for more space for themselves and a portfolio incubator. But this strikes me as a rumor intended to create some deal pressure in some other negotiation.

Larry hasn't been afraid to buy real estate when it looked cheap (a la the port authority building in New York), but it's difficult to view the current market as cheap. And offices in some of the world's great cities have moved from higher cost locations to more modest locations. The evolution of Google's presence in London and Sydney come to mind...

Posted by: Ryan at November 17, 2013 1:55 PM

If google moves into the Transbay Tower and buy's it all out, a lot like what Saleforce did with 350 Mission, they might add additional floors to the skyscraper which will consequently beat LA tower.

Posted by: Alex at December 25, 2013 10:05 PM

UPDATE: With respect to the Transbay Tower: The 61-Story Vertical Campus Rising At 415 Mission Street.

Posted by: SocketSite at January 17, 2014 10:22 AM

I grew up in Texas (well, just got bigger). I would NEVER, EVER move back there!!!! Just saying. There are oh, so many reasons... which shall remain within my thoughts!

As transportation rates rise, SF is going to have no choice but to build vertical... so many other cities are beginning to grasp that thought.

I've now lived in California (previously LA) since 1962 and moved to SF for a great job... and am now retired. Even though I'm not rich I love it here... even with an extreme dry spell we are experiencing.

Posted by: BayGuy at January 17, 2014 11:00 AM

Google and Facebook will stay in the South Bay/Peninsula. Too many workers reside down there and being close to Stanford is important too.

Posted by: Marten at January 17, 2014 6:42 PM

Google already has quite a bit of office space at Hills Plaza on the Embarcadero between Folsom and Harrison. Rumor has it that there are so many employees that are SF residents that would rather work there than sit on the Google bus that the amount of space is insufficient by an enormous margin. Hence, it would make sense to get more office space in SF even without moving the HQ here, a move that would seem unlikely.

Posted by: anonanon at January 17, 2014 8:23 PM

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