Having previously announced plans to sublet over half of the former Sears Building in Uptown Oakland which Uber purchased for $123.5 million in 2015, the company is now looking to sell the entire building prior to its expected opening in the second quarter of next year.

And according to the Business Times, Uber isn’t looking to leaseback any of the future Uptown Station’s space.

Instead, Uber is now planning to consolidate its Bay Area workforce in San Francisco’s Mission Bay, split between its new worldwide headquarters which should be ready for occupancy by the end of next year and up to 580,000 square feet of office space across the street that’s being built as part of the Warriors’ Chase Center development which should be ready for occupancy in mid-2019.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Jwb

    Uber will be able to consolidate into the nearest Starbucks by the end of the year. Selling this building at a $100m profit, if they can do so, would give them only about two weeks of runway at their current burn rate.

    • Posted by Mark

      At the rate it continues to lose money…wouldn’t be surprised by your prediction.

      Or, Uber will be acquired by an OEM.

    • Posted by anon2

      And we’re already seeing housing weakness while the pressure on profitless tech companies has barely even started: “”As we look to strengthen our financial position so we can better serve riders and drivers for the long term, we’re exploring several options for Uptown Station, including a sale,” an Uber[sic] wrote in a statement.”

      “Strengthen our financial position” indeed!

    • Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

      “Burn rate”, eh? Nice little buzzword you learned there, unfortunately you have no idea how to put it in context. Uber is still growing more than 100% year over year, even at their current size, and like all smart tech companies they are investing heavily in future growth.

      Do you think their “burn rate” comes from babysitting the apps, drivers, and billing process? Do you think investors are lining up to give them money just so they can launch Uber service in the next 100 cities on their list?

      Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there’s a bit of gossip going around about this “autonomous vehicle” business. And there are realistically a handful of companies in the race to become the leading technology platform for it. That’s why they “burn” their money.

      It’s fine to root for Uber’s downfall if you want. Maybe you’re upset by their so-called toxic frat house culture, maybe you like Lyft better, or maybe you’re nostalgic for being on hold with the taxi dispatch, who knows? I’m sure the SF Examiner can give you a long list of reasons, each one more reactionary than the last one. But don’t try to play economic analyst if you’re ignorant about how businesses grow.

      • Posted by Tank_Hill

        second that

      • Posted by Pierre Smith

        IDK. Uber has no CEO, CFO, COO, it’s losing $3 B/year, this crazy gender culture crisis has made Lyft a lot more popular, it has a bunch of employee designation lawsuits still out there, it’s facing a giant autonomous unit lawsuit raised by Google with damning evidence and that could cripple their autonomous moves, and now the head honcho dude (Kalanick or whatever) who was forced to resign is being sued for fraud (along with other members of his team). In the fraud lawsuit, the plaintiffs state that Kalanick was forced to resign in the first place because of an ultimatum that he go or be sued by investors for fraud. Institutional investors have been writing down the value of their Uber investments, it’s only 15% now, but the trajectory isn’t good.

        The company may indeed come through it, they have enough cash to go 2 more years at this rate, they’re the biggest player in the game, and they’re nickel-and-diming revenue upwards here and there, so that the amount their investors subsidize rides is getting a little less bad. I hope they don’t collapse, because it’s a huge Bay Area company and it could tank valuations across the industry, freezing investment here and taking down hundreds of companies. Which would knock on to kill restaurants and all sorts of services.

      • Posted by anon2

        But also, don’t be ignorant about how VC’s & investors work. They invest at one price and their main goal is to sell to someone else at a higher price.

        The public wants to see growth and everybody wants to buy $1 of transportation for 80¢ so selling your product at a loss is a great way to “grow”.

        Maybe some of the burn is going into autonomous car research to make a serious play for the future of the company or maybe its just a feel good story for investors concerned about their huge burn rate.

        Besides if you want to bet on autonomous technology it’s not as if Uber is your only option. What exactly does Uber bring to the table, especially considering their current burn rate and valuation? Their upper management team is a mess and they’ve soiled their brand. They don’t have a strong technical moat around their current ride sharing product. Besides Lyft, there are a handful of regional ride-shareing apps that offer essentially the same functionally. They don’t control the customer experience, most drivers here drive for both Lyft and Uber. They haven’t shown any aptitude at financial discipline. And at a huge valuation with a huge burn rate, if they stumble at all earlier investors will heavily dilute employees.

        The big con job of the last two bubbles has been that while some companies truly are investing money to create technology which will produce profits later, many many companies are just running their business at a loss to show “growth” in the hopes that investors can cash out before the music stops.

      • Posted by another anon

        The problem with Uber is that there are no barriers to entry for their competition. Just look at how many people instantly switched to Lyft when Uber was getting a ton of bad press.

        What exactly are Uber’s assets anyway? Just software that can (and has been) easily replicated. Their future is in no way guaranteed. It’s a commodity in a market where there is no brand loyalty.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Naked Capitalism had an excellent series on how Uber is basically a ginormous scam…unless they can miraculously establish monopolies in enough markets.

      • Posted by HuskyDown

        The idea that “self-driving” cars are anywhere close to being ready for general circulation is laughable. And certainly not anywhere close to soon enough to help Uber. And the idea that the first to get a self-driving car on the road is somehow going to have a monopoly on it is also laughable. Whenever self-driving cars ever do happen as far as broadly used vehicles on our nation’s streets & highways (which is likely 20 years or more away), they will be commodity technology. Self-driving cars are the pet rocks of the SV booster set.

        • Posted by djt

          Agreed. The first application for autonomous highway vehicles will be this:

          Person drives semi tractor and trailer to Fairfield, CA, from Port of Oakland. They get out, and the truck drives itself, primarily at night, to another parking lot on the outskirts of, say, Denver, where another person gets in the truck and drives it the last 50 miles to its destination.

          individual autonomous autos in busy urban areas? 20 years out. Autonomous trucks as I describe above? 5 years max. And if you instead have a robotically controlled truck where, say, 1 person observes 5 such trucks from a fixed location using a camera on board in addition to autonomous aids, it could be three years.

      • Posted by NoeNeighbor

        You think “burn rate” is some sort of special buzzword? Wow, you really don’t know much.

  2. Posted by Some Guy

    Top. Down hill from here…. ?

  3. Posted by Sierrajeff

    So, Dave and E. Gonzalvez, your spin, please, on how this is good for Oakland.

    • Posted by Notcom

      The spin will be that Oakland has one of the lowest office vacancy rates in the country – and some of the highest rents – so this will be an opportunity to get tenants who are financially stable and politically popular.

      We won’t know, of course, until the building sells and leases are signed.

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      I’ll bite. I think it’s fine for Oakland. Oakland currently has vanishingly low vacancy, particularly for Class A space. There are lots of folks currently in the market, and this project will be positioned perfectly to grab that demand. There are a couple of new towers just starting development, but they won’t be ready for occupancy for a couple of years – Uptown Station will be the only game in town when it opens. Finally, I don’t know if Uber follows the Valley tradition of having elaborate free food service within their building, but if the building is filled with more conventional tenants that don’t, it will be better for retailers on the first floor and in the surrounding neighborhood. Not concerned at all.

    • Posted by jimbo

      oakland always gets SF’s leftovers, and the leftovers at Uber are becoming fewer

      • Posted by Notcom

        Actually no: the biggest companies in Oakland, whether current or past, (Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Golden West Financial) are/have been home-grown; or they’re government entities for which Oakland – as the county seat and Eastbay’s largest city – is the logical location.

        Indeed, if Oakland could get more “leftovers” it would be much bigger.

        • Posted by curmudgeon

          Well…Clorox moved much of its operation to Pleasanton in 2010/11. And the Metropolitan Transportation Commission made a totally reverse commute move to downtown San Francisco from Lake Merritt (so dumb). The news in downtown Oakland in this last cycle has been: big companies like Blue Shield announcing moves from SF, non-profits, engneers, architects either jumping from SF or expanding offices in Oakland, and, increasingly, tech startups getting a foothold. There are a bunch of WeWork kind of places, and they all seem to be full of 20 somethings…..

          • Posted by Notcom

            That is correct, there is – always has been and probably always will be – movement of firms b/w the two cities; I was just pointing out that, historically speaking, DO didn’t develop as a refugee camp for DSF.

            Actually the building itself, which was begun in 1928 under Emporium-Capwell ownership, is a metaphor for much of the business development in the Bay Area: successful Eastbay firms were acquired by larger SF-based ones and absorbed, which explains (partly) why Oakland didn’t develop as more of a business center.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          Oakland has a 4% vacancy rate in its CBD. This is the lowest vacancy rate of any city in the United States. Anyone who tries to spin this as some sort of knock on Oakland is being disingenuous. Some in the SF media are trying to spin this as some sort of knock on Oakland.

          • Posted by Brian M

            I agree. It should be spun as a knock on the scam that is Uber.

  4. Posted by Metroliner

    What are the odds that they ever move into the Chase Center space? Or even their new HQ when that is done?

  5. Posted by Anon123

    This has a lot more to do with Uber being in a state of flux than the quality of the Oakland office market.

    I would rather invest a dollar in the Oakland office market than a cent in Uber.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      The quality of Oakland’s office market is tremendous. As a matter of fact, at less than 4% vacancy rate for its CBD, it’s the lowest of any city in the United States.

  6. Posted by Hancock

    This is great for Oakland. While Oakland’s losing a marquee name, this opens up a ton of office space for other large or growing companies. Heck, Blue Shield’s leaving San Francisco for Oakland. I’m sure there are plenty of established companies (non-startups) looking for a reprieve from San Francisco’s rents.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      This building will be snapped up withi a week of being put on the market. Oakland has the hottest office market in the United States.

  7. Posted by SFRealist

    This is the best year ever for Lyft.

    • Posted by Brian M

      Yet Lyft is bonfiring cash as well.
      The whole gig economy transportation sector is a scam that depends on gullible drivers overlooking their real costs. And choosing to work for predators. Uber leased to its suckers a bunch of recalled Hondas in Singapore that were known to be prone to burst into flame. Ooops.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        I don’t know about you, but I regularly get drivers who are smart and are happy to tell me how much money they make.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Count me skeptical. I question if they are counting the depreciation on their vehicles, insurance costs (if they have insurance that covers their commercial activity) and other costs.

          There are people at the top of the pyramid that insist Amway is the best thing ever.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Maybe they are all wrong.

            Or maybe they know more about their actual lives than you do. I’m just telling you what they tell me.

  8. Posted by E. Gonsalves

    This is a huge win for Oakland. The beautiful former Capwell’s Building at 19th & Broadway is located in booming Uptown Oakland and has its own private entrance to the 19th Street BART station in the basement of the building.

    Oakland gets a beautiful renovated historic building with a sun filled atrium, a roof garden, in a prime central Bay Area location within easy reach of the huge East Bay population base.

    Right now, Oakland’s CBD has the lowest vacancy rate of any city in the United States. Oakland can easily absorb another 1.5 million feet of office space. The only thing holding Oakland Bach is lack of available office space.

    The “Sears” building will be a huge hit and one of the most sought after office properties in the Bay Area. Not having an unstable untrustworthy worthy company as a tenant will be great for Oakland. Let Uber cozy up with the equally unscrupulous Warrior organization at Mission Bay. The Warriors are the ones who talked Uber out of Oakland and into Mission Bay. Good riddance to these two dishonest corporations. Oakland will be much better off with a restored beautiful building and classy dependable businesses who believe in Oakland’s tremendous future.

    • Posted by ronin_sf

      You should work for Oaktown Tourism and Marketing department

      • Posted by Notcom

        I was thinking more like a modern day Don Pardo, w/ frequent use of “beautiful”, and short breaks b/w highlighting the various features, it reads very much like a script for the game show.

        But back to the building, and its “historic” features: unfortunately almost all of the architectural features – other than the cornice – have been lost (the exterior in the 1990 upgrading and the interior in the latest one). A peak inside shows the floor is covered, so I’m hoping that means the marble is being retained…. it would be a shame to rip out 50K s.f. of Alaskan Marble and replace it with cement, in some misguided attempt to be trendy.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          Good point. The idea was to open up the building to natural light with an atrium and a multitude of windows. The final product will be gorgeous and the location can’t be beat.

          All of a sudden Oakland will have some very enticing office space with this building along with the 600,000 sqft 601 City Center currently under construction. We will be seeing more relocations from SF in the near future.

        • Posted by Brian M

          The Iraqi Information Minister?

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      So, when Uber was moving it’s “headquarters” (it never was going to be the HQ, just back offices – but that’s how it was described by OAK boosters) it was a great thing for Oakland. And now that Uber’s *not* moving there and is abandoning the building, it’s a great thing for Oakland. A certain Orwellian flip-flop point of view there…

      • Posted by Notcom

        Actually if you read the original post it appears the big booster was Dave, who hasn’t comment here, yet. (By some miracle EG didn’t actually comment, so avoids flip-floppery …even if on a technicality)

        But in answer to your larger point, it was (supposedly) good news b/c it showed (1) a major company was interested in the property, and (2) the employees would be “techie” > high-paid. Since then, of course, Uber’s star has dimmed and this (retrenchment) is seen as more of an indictment of Uber than of Oakland. Response to point #2 will depend on who moves in: if it’s some other tech firm, or at least some major tenant, then I think a “who cares?” is justified; if not, then yes, a “good news” spin will be hypocritical.

        But you should also remember, from the very beginning, the Uber ownership drew a mixed response. I don’t think it’s “flip-floppery”, I think there’s a lot of relief they aren’t coming here…provided that someone suitable does

      • Posted by E. Gonsalves

        Having a renovated 350,000 square foot building with its own BART station in the middle of Uptown Oakland is a great thing for Oakland. Another company or companies will fill the building. It will probably be another San Francisco company who wants to improve the quality of life for their many East Bay employees.

      • Posted by Brian M

        The brave elite soldiers of the Republican Guard are about to repel the disgusting invaders from Bagdad!

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          “There is no there, there” “Oakland has more crime than San Francisco.” “Oakland is New Jersey.” “Oakland is dangerous and has bad quality of life.” “Oakland can’t hold up it’s side of the Bay Bridge. “Oakland is just for people and corporations who can’t afford San Francisco.” From Herb Caen and the SF Ministry of Disinformation (the SF centric media) for the last 60 years.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Herb Caen died 20 years ago.

          • Posted by two beers

            Chip, meet shoulder.

            Methinks the realtor doth protest too much.

      • Posted by E. Gonsalves

        I know. Before he died he liked taking plenty of shots at Oakland. He enjoyed making fun of Oakland.

    • Posted by HuskyDown

      Yes, but is that building anywhere close to being actually finished? I haven’t been by it in awhile, but last time I walked by, it certainly didn’t look it. And I also assume that whatever “finished” state Uber leaves it in, means cold shell finished – which means pretty far from being easily leasable to smaller office tenants. Lane Partners pulled off a complete heist of Uber. Anyone coming along is going to have to still build out the interior, which means finding office tenants willing to sink that kind of capital into TI during the late phase of the current business cycle – or a buyer willing to go out on a limb building out speculative office space, at the the last phase of the current business cycle. Its possible this could sit as an empty hulk for awhile. See the various office buildings in JLS built during the housing bubble, that still sit empty, almost 10 years after completion.

      • Posted by E. Gonsalves

        The building will be finishef. That’s an asset on top of the 19th Street BART station. Uber will be selling it to raise cash not to “cut costs” as the pro SF media likes to report.

      • Posted by curmudgeon

        I understand your concern, and for that reason I do hope that Uber sells it soon. Lane Partners is currently working for Uber to complete the project, and I believe they are scoped to deliver something that is leasable…because after all Uber (lately) was only committed to taking some symbolic space on the top floors.

        I think the danger would be Uber becoming so consumed with their own disfunction that they mothballed the place for an extended time….but work has been going on consistently, the wraps have been coming off the building, and I think (and hope hope hope) that they will keep on going to completion.

        Institutional capital has shown to be interested in Oakland over the last few years, so I’m hoping there won’t be a problem with unloading it. And the sooner institutional capital comes in, the sooner it will be leased and operating.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          I think Uber wants and needs the cash flow from the sale. With a finished product they will make a huge return on their investment.

        • Posted by HuskyDown

          My understanding from folks tapped into the project is that the exterior work is on track, but the interior still needs a LOT of plumbing and interior work to get it into leasable condition.

          Contrary to E. Gonsalves uninformed boosterism, its quite possible it could be quite awhile till we see that building in leasable condition. Could happen, but its far from guaranteed, depending on how fast Uber wants to unload it.

          We are getting near the end of the current business cycle. E. Gonsalves may not know it, but the industry does. And downtown Oakland office market (I include Uptown in that) is still primarily driven by office tenants who want to be in a CBD location (as opposed to a suburban office park) but either can’t afford SF, or don’t want / need to pay SF prices.

          Lane scored a coup originally with Uber. Single office tenant taking whole or close to whole building (Originally), with deep pockets willing to pay for build to suit TI. Its now turned into completely the opposite of that (spec office space) at the wrong end of the cycle, in an office sub-market that doesn’t really have huge demand for build to suit space. (its telling that the two big commercial office lease signing in DTO over last year-ish have been institutional tenants on beer-based, not champagne-based, budgets – Blue Cross (health insurance) and UCOP (education).

          That said, Oakland office leasing market had a really good quarter last quarter, and Oakland still provides good value in terms of lease rates compared to SF and the Peninsula. So nothing is certain. But the unmitigated boosterism is bit naive.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            How is it naive when Oakland has a 4% CBD vacancy rate compared to San Francisco’s 8%. SF is the city with an incredible surplus of office space. Also, no one “needs to be in San Francisco.” Oakland is at the absolute center of the entire Bay Area and is at the nexus of the BART system. Uptown is at the center of Oakland and this Uber Building has its own basement BART entrance to the very busy 19th Street BART station. Sure, there’s always a possibility the Uber will throw a monkey wrench into the project in order to keep desirable office space in Oakland off the market in order to benefit its own office project as well as the Warriors project at Mission Bay.

            People always want to look at Oakland’s office market through SF-centric eyes.

          • Posted by Notcom

            It’s Blue Shield, not Blue Cross; and I think the description of “beer not champagne” is a little simplistic: if you mean it wasn’t a West Coast HQ for some investment bank, then that’s certainly true. But Oakland is unlikely to score such a firm – now or ever – and concentrating on large, financially stable tenants seems like a perfectly sensible behavior….since there are a great many of them, and they (presumably) base their real estate decisions on tangible factors Oakland can do well in – like centrality, transportation and (for now) cost – rather than one it can’t (glamour). Indeed one of the ongoing disagreements on this board is a replay of the old Gimbels slogan “Choose, don’t settle”: i.e. the (seemingly automatic) assumption (on the part of some people) that every relocation to Oakland is because of an inability to get in somewhere else.

            Back to the building itself: I agree with what you said, save perhaps for the description of Uber as a “tenant”…they own the building, they’re aren’t leasing it, so maybe “occupant” would be a better choice. But nothing is certain and we’ll just have to wait to see what happens (almost completely overlooked is that when Sears owned the building they remodeled the upper floors, put them up for lease, but (apparently) were unable to find tenants.) It would of course be ironic if the whole end result of the Uber ownership was that it removed the building from the market right when it might have attracted solid tenants, and then returned it when there were none to be found.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Yes, having a company like Uber controlling the fate of prime Oakland real estate could be a problem. Uber wouldn’t be the first SF company to purposely artificially suppress the Oakland commercial office market.

          • Posted by Matt in Uptown

            Notcom, the upper floors were not built out under Sears ownership. I used to work in the I. Magnin building and could see into the Sears’ 20th St windows at night -it was stripped down to concrete and lit with bare HID fixtures. Those upper floors were dreadful with maybe 90% of the windows filled in by the seismic retrofit.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Yes, you’re correct that the current conditions are different, and perhaps I was remiss if my phrasing suggested that they weren’t (although 90% is an exaggeration: an examination of pre-renovation photos will show, I think, that 50% is probably closer to the right number). But the fact that they apparently couldn’t land even a single tenant, even for a low margin operation like a call center, I find to be somewhat discouraging. (And also discouraging is that seemingly not a single news article even mentioned that part of the history…such is the media these days.)

  9. Posted by Curious

    So are they leaving 1455 Market as well?

    [Editor’s Note: That’s correct.]

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      Yes, but the SF media would rather paint this as some sort of knock on Oakland. You know, try to create some sort of anti-Oakland stigma in order to keep other SF companies from bolting across the Bay.

  10. Posted by Newcomer

    Uber will be fine. Oakland will be fine. What City of Oakland needs to do is fix International Blvd. New infrastructure all the way to San Leandro. Then start tearing down all the old decrepit buildings. City needs tons of micro housing for poor and below market, so these people have a place to get back on their feet. Then start cleaning up the mountains of homeless garbage littered garbage all over the city. Oakland needs a new Mayor with backbone to get shit fixed, not just slow talk that goes nowhere.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      International Blvd is getting new infrastructure due to the new rapid bus infrastructure. New pavement, new sidewalks, new bus shelters, new lighting, etc.

      I agree regarding the old blighted former retail buildings which are no longer viable businesses. Tear those blighted buildings down and build some attractive new housing on International Blvd.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        If Oakland actually did that, it would be huge. Oakland has room to add tons of housing.

        • Posted by Brian M

          who is going to pay to do all this on International Blvd? Especially given the impending softening of the market?

          • Posted by SFRealist

            If Oakland does it right, developers will pay. Developers want to build housing and there’s a shortage of housing in the Bay Area.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            I’m not saying all of International Blvd needs to be redone. Eastlake, Fruitvale are vibrant and interesting neighborhoods. I’m referring to blighted gaps around the San Antonio neighborhood and areas in deep East Oakland. There is still plenty of demand for well priced housing in Oakland. We are not talking about the over priced and saturated luxury condo market in San Francisco. We are talking good middle class and working class housing in a busy transportation corridor in Oakland. Developers need a vision and banks have to stop red-lining East Oakland and then something could get done.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            It not the only thing that needs to happen, but there is a fair amount of affordable housing proposed for International Blvd. The end of redevelopment killed a lot of funding for affordable housing, but with recently passed bond measures in both the County and City, there will (slowly) be a rebound in publicly assisted projects. Hopefully, too, there will be more market rate development…as other folks say there is a great need for middle class housing and International Blvd (particularly with BRT) is a great place for it.

    • Posted by Some Guy

      I looked at the BRT plans – all 1000+ pages of blueprints for all of the ~20+ stops, indeed it’s pretty ambitious and I am mildly impressed.

      But yes, it’s time for the electorate to step up & sweep out the incompetent hang-wringing do-nothing city government. Fix the quality-of-life issues, FIRST and foremost, crime. End the dumb hood rats on ATVs and dirt bikes roving around, the sideshows, the daily murders, etc. Only then will Oakland move toward some parity w/ the decent-er places around the rest of the Bay.

      • Posted by E. Gonsalves

        Those ATV’s and dirt bikes have been seen in Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, San Francisco and many other places. The murders in Oakland are at 41 with two other justifiable homicides. It’s hardly an everyday occurrence. In many ways Oakland exceeds much of the white bread vanilla towns around the rest of the Bay. Those towns are known for what they don’t have. Some have been conditioned that boring, bland and white is greatness. It’s not.

        • Posted by Some Guy

          I’ve come to the conclusion that E. Gonsalves must be, literally and in actual fact, on somebody’s payroll to be motivated to such childish excesses of misrepresentation and fan-boism about Oakland. I’ve lived here for years now, at least 60% of the city by land area is an unpleasant pit to live in or pass through. You lose more and more credibility with every reality-denying post. I hope SS has you on a short list of posters to consider banning.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Maybe 10% of the city next to 880 and the train tracks may be unpleasant.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Heck. I actually agree with you here1 Not everyone wants to live in Stepfordville….I mean Pleasanton. 🙂

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Agreed. Somehow Orinda is supposed to be greater than Oakland. This is the disregard Americans have been conditioned to show their cities. It’s run for the suburbs and leave the cities to the poor and to minorities. They also take their money and retail with them.

        • Posted by curmudgeon

          FWIW Oakland’s murder rate IS way down from recent history. Year to date is 44, and if the rate stays constant, it will be the lowest number of murders in decades. Total rate has been below 100 since 2013, recent high was 145 in 2006, and in 1992 there were 175 murders. YES, it’s still significantly more dangerous that SF, whiich usually runs about 50 murders/year with twice the population. But the City has been making consistent progress, and the City government deserves at least some of the credit.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            San Francisco actually has more murders per square mile, and, as late as 2007 and 2008, SF recorded 100 and 98 homicides.

            Of course these numbers were whittled down by not counting homicides in US parkland jurisdictions, police involved killings and other self-defense killings.

            By contrast, the media likes to include all killings in Oakland’s homicide numbers. For example, if we go by SF reporting standards, Oakland has 42 murders and 2 additional justifiable killings which will not be included in the FBI official homicide figures at year’s end. The correct current number for Oskland is 42.

            Also, we have 30,000 over all crimes in Oakland in 57 square miles compared to 60,000 crimes in SF’s 49 square miles. SF also had 700 more violent crimes than Oakland in 2016. Auto break-ins in SF in 2016 were 25,000 compared to 7,000 in Oakland.

            Also, keep in mind that according to crime mapping.com SF records many more daily crimes than are reported at years end. Roughly 50% of documented crime calls with written reports do not make SF’s “official” crime numbers at year’s end.

            SF has the most unreliable crime stats of any city in the United States. SF’s economy is built on tourism and keeping corporations and residents from bolting to Oakland and the East Bay.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            you do yourself no favors by using inconsequential stats like “murders per square mile”. Crime is typically reported in rates per capita, and that makes complete sense. And by that measure Oakland remains significantly safer than Oakland, although the delta between the two is narrowing. Finally, looking at ALL crime can be very misleading, because the rate of reporting by citizenry and the method of recording by police can be significantly different between jurisdictions. To a certain degree, the more cops, the more “crime”. But you really can’t argue with the murder rate….hard to explain away a dead body.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            The per capita crime rate is not an accurate indicator of “danger” or “safety.” Area where the crime is occurring is what reflects danger or safety. Per capita just indicates the number of people living in an area. It’s possible for the Tenderloin to have a lower per capita rate than Rockridge due to population density. You may have 100 crimes in one block of the Tenderloin but it’s supposedly “safer” than having two crimes on one block of College Avenue in Oakland? Per capita crime is diluted by big cities with huge populations. NYC, with 8 million residents, has a lower per capita crime rate than 850,000 population SF, but a higher per capita crime rate than the 7.5 million resident Bay Area. The fairest method is to compare crime per square mile and using that metric SF has the most crime of any city in the United States. There are 1270 crimes per square mile in SF compared to about 500 crimes per square mile in Oakland.

          • Posted by mwsf

            I thought I had heard it all…but clearly not! Of course Oakland has less “crimes per square mile” than San Francisco – it has close to double the square mileage with less than half the population! According to your “statistic” Jacksonville Fl, a city with roughly the same population as SF has a “crimes per square mile” rate 29 times lower (44 vs 1270) than SF. Needless to say Jacksonville is a huge city in terms of square mileage.

            Lets stick to reality here on socketsite and not just make sh*t up.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Oakland is about 57 square miles while San Francisco is 49 square miles. Oakland is definitely not that much bigger in total area.

  11. Posted by Pfffttt

    What Uber should invest more money in is background checks of their drivers.

    • Posted by Brian M

      The drives are not the problem, methinks. It’s the VC vampire squids that funded Bad K.

  12. Posted by Joe Hawkins

    Bottom line, Oakland got a eyesore rehabbed out of the deal, in the middle of the “Uptown” district.

  13. Posted by Brian M

    There is not a single sociologist or student of crime that uses a “crime per square mile” metric. I have never heard of such a thing.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      Police agencies, neighborhood scout, people looking at crime is prospective neighborhoods look at crime by area not by “crime per capita.” Who cares how many people live on a certain street or certain neighborhood? When walking in the Tenderloin in SF do people want to know how many people live in the neighborhood or do they want to know how much crime is occurring on the streets? Alameda County has a lower crime per capita rate than SF county. This means that if a company relocates from San Francisco to Alameda County they will be safer. Do you agree with “crime per capita” now?

  14. Posted by Brisket

    E. Gonsalves: The census bureau says Oakland is 78 square miles, not 57. If you are going to start shaving off miles to support your novel “square mile” crime stats theory by excluding water mass you’ll need to do the same for SF’s various bodies of water – Lake Merced, several parts of Golden Gate Park, etc.. Of course the whole exercise is still ridiculous because nobody calculates crime on a square mile basis.

    Look I like Oakland, but the idea that it is a safer place to live than SF is just beyond reality.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      That includes water. Look for land and you will see that Oakland is about 56 square miles. SF has a total area much greater than Oakland if you include Bay waters. Not too much crime on the water. I haven’t heard of too many boat-by shootings.

      • Posted by Some Guy

        Socketsite, it should be obvious to you that E Gonzales is a paid shill, or a person with some kind of reverse-Trumpian personality disorder. Please conside limiting its comments to no more than 3 or 4 per topic, like the rest of us (mostly) adults. Thank you.

    • Posted by E. Gonsalves

      30,000 crimes in 56 square miles is safer than 60,000 crimes in 49 square miles. Those are just facts.

      • Posted by anon2

        Imagine you have 10 people living in an apartment on 1/4 sqmi and there’s one murder. Now look at 10 people living in the burbs on 1 sqmi with one murder. Now 10 people living on a ranch on 10 sqmi and still one murder.

        In all those cases your chance of being a murder victim is 1 in 10, but your crime per square mile stat is all over the place. There’s a difference between having more living space and being safer.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Now if we can just return to the .0027 of a square mile of Oakland that is actually the subject of this thread….

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Yes. That’s fair. It’s a great area.

        • Posted by E. Gonsalves

          i’d feel much safer living in the 10 sq. mile ranch. I can distance myself from a murder by miles. I can make personal lifestyle choices in the ranch which would make me much less likely to be a victim than I would living in a crowded apartment where a homicide occurred one block away. Much more likely to be an innocent victim in a high crime density area like San Francisco.

          The bottom line is that Oakland has been vilified and fear mongered for having crime, while SF has twice as much crime in a smaller area.

          Oakland is often described as “crime ridden” but SF, with twice the number of crimes, is never described as “a crime ridden city.”

          Oakland has suffered at the hands of the SF dominate media for decades. Part of it has been race based do to the perceived demographics in Oakland.

          • Posted by T. Marrujo

            E. Gonsalves is correct in stating that Oakland is 56 square miles and that the other 11 square miles is water. But who includes water?? And E. Gonzalves is correct that SF has more crime than Oakland. Particularly when you are talking about robbery, assault and murder in the downtown and tourist areas. Oakland doesn’t even come close. Are the rest of you not watching your local news? Oakland’s crime is mostly concentrated in deep E. Oakland where most of the drug trade still exists. SF on the other hand has crime occuring downtown during business hours, Fisherman’s Wharf, Russian Hill, Twin Peaks and anywhere there is opportunity. It’s on the news everyday. Tourists are killed for cameras, office workers getting punched in the face and getting their phones and laptops stolen, smash and grab in Union Square and all over the city. Assholes on dirt bikes and ATV’s terrorizing pedestrians and motorists in the city and on the highway. An UBER driver was run off the road and beaten and run over by this scum right in the middle of the road. And why are you all coming down on him just for defending a city that he obviously cares a great deal for. SF mainstream media has a long history of trying it’s best to tear down anything good Oakland has going for it. If you don’t know that then you haven’t lived in the Bay Area for very long.

            And @Some Guy, I don’t know where in Oakland you claim to live, but 60% of Oakland is unpleasant you claim? You are a damn liar sir! Of Oakland’s 56 sq. miles a large portion is covered by redwood trees in the East Bay Regional Park District’s park system. Another large portion of Oakland is covered by affluent hillside residences. The only part of E. Oakland that may still be a little scary is in the 70’s and 80’s avenues near the Coliseum. Which in fact are changing as we speak with new affordable housing being built near the Coliseum Bart station. So take a better look Some Guy and quit acting as if you know what you are talking about.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            T. Marrujo — ain’t a lot of people walking the streets of Fruitvale after dark know what I’m sayin — except those either lookin to rob someone, or to get robbed. All of Oakland below 580 and below lake Merritt has a long way to go. Not to mention West Oakland.

          • Posted by suspicious

            Ummm…… So after months maybe years of being this sites Oakland cheerleader E. Gonsalaves gets accused by Some Guy of being a paid shill. Then boom hours later a T. Marrujo appears to defened him. Yeah Right

          • Posted by Notcom

            Back to the actual building: a KTVU report claimed the (only) other named tenant – Newberry Market – dropped out after Uber brought in a NY design firm (which seems rather ironic since Starrett and Van Vleck were brought in during the original construction in the 20’s, seems we’ve become rather parochial) but at the same time it seems the principals behind that enterprise have (instead) opened a restaurant across/up the street…would people care to speculate on what all that means?

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            I like the original “Market Hall” concept for much of the retail space. Let’s hope something approaching the original proposal is included in the ground floor. There is a 33 story residential building just down the street at 17th & Broadway currently under construction. New residents will need a place nearby to shop.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Well said, T. Marujjo. Thanks for speaking up.

          • Posted by Some Guy

            Yes, seems likely T. Marujo is a sock puppet for E. Gonsalzes. I wonder when SocketSite will check the logs & see if the IP addresses or other info matches up.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            We actually ran a number of checks, beyond simply comparing IP addresses, when the comment was first flagged earlier today. And believe us, we were a little surprised by the (negative) results.

            Regardless, the best approach is to lead by example, refuse to take the bait if you suspect you’re being trolled or shilled, and let us worry about weeding out the bad actors or actions (which can take some time).

            And now back to the topic at hand…

          • Posted by Notcom

            I think, offset and balanced against the (all too common) negative remarks posted here (there and everywhere else) they provide a complete picture; for example, just this AM I drove up the whole of Fruitvale – well starting @ SL Blvd, anyway – and while only a person w/ vision too poor to actually drive would miss the blight – my Grandparent’s old duplex I found particularly depressing – I also couldn’t miss either how much vitality there was…lot’s of foot traffic, few vacant storefronts, even that seeming lost cause @ Intl’ was Lazarused and is for rent.

            But back to another building now for rent – this one: if one looks @ the web-site for Uptown Station one notes the full six+ floors of office space is advertised, which is fine since it’s now available; but it’s ALWAYS been so advertised, even the whole time that Uber was supposed to occupy it. So perhaps their plans went south much earlier…like almost from the day they bought it.

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Editor: You are checking my IP address? I haven’t trolled anyone or said anything that isn’t true. Someone spoke up and agreed with what I wrote. “Some Guy” has posted some very hateful comments regarding the city of Oakland. Have you checked his IP address?

          • Posted by E. Gonsalves

            Uber’s plans went south the day the Golden State Warriors whispered in their ear about relocating to Mission Bay. The Warriors have really done a job on Oakland.

  15. Posted by Brisket

    Looks like the ground floor anchor tenant – proposed food hall has pulled out.

    [Editor’s Note: Newberry Market pulled out long ago.]

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