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In a decade highlighted by some of the world’s largest companies gobbling up unprecedented amounts of space, a few leases in Bay Area commercial real estate stand out from the rest.
Depending on market capitalizations at a given moment, the Bay Area is home to two or three of the world’s largest companies, each of which are well-represented on a list of the decade’s biggest leases in the area.
Though its development of Apple Park in Cupertino may have received more attention, Apple’s lease of Jay Paul Co.‘s Central Wolfe building in neighboring Sunnyvale holds its own, even drawing comparisons to the company’s HQ.
In addition to spending hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire and develop Bay Area property, Google has also entered into its fair share of leases, most notably in Jay Paul’s Moffett Park projects in Sunnyvale.
Even so, a handful of other companies made waves with leases in the Bay Area’s decade of growth.
Dropbox‘s Lease at The Exchange
At a development cost of $570M, Dropbox’s new Mission Bay headquarters also likely ranks as one of the city’s most expensive office projects. Designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, the LEED Platinum office project includes public plazas, retail and other amenities from its location a stone’s throw away from both Oracle Park and Chase Center.
For Dropbox, its massive deal with Kilroy had a short reign. Two months after going public the next year, Facebook and developer John Buck Co. had it beat.
Facebook’s Lease of Park Tower
Facebook’s deal with developer John Buck Co. to lease all of its 755K SF high-rise in San Francisco’s Transbay still stands as the city’s biggest lease ever.
With the deal and its lease of 181 Fremont St. the year prior, Facebook became one of the city’s biggest commercial tenants seemingly overnight, even after having essentially no footprint in the city as recently as early 2017.
As it turns out, Park Tower’s official delivery earlier this year might represent the zenith of the Menlo Park-based company’s growth in the Bay Area. Facebook is now “growing primarily outside of the Bay Area,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said publicly in October.
Facebook’s Lease of Burlingame Point
Located nearly midway between Park Tower and the company’s Menlo Park HQ, Burlingame Point comes in at 803K SF feet, with Facebook signed on to take about 770K SF of it to use as the home of its Oculus virtual reality division. It had brokerage JLL representing it in negotiations, with Cushman Wakefield marketing the campus for Kylli, a subsidiary of China-based Genzon Investment Group Co.
Facebook’s Burlingame campus will have one eight-story building, one seven-story building, two five-story buildings and a two-story amenity building, and it is expected to finish construction in 2020.
As the western United States’ second-tallest building, Salesforce Tower stands out for a few reasons, including the large-scale lease signed by its namesake.
In what amounted to San Francisco’s then-largest-ever lease before Dropbox and Facebook crashed the party, Salesforce took the name and half the space of Transbay Tower in 2014.
In the other half of the decade and on the other end of the Bay Area, Verizon recently signed a lease for 640K SF of Coleman Highline, a complex being developed by Cupertino-based Hunter Storm near the San Jose International Airport.
The telecommunications company expects its part of Hunter Storm’s megaproject to wrap up in 2021 and to move about 2,400 of its Verizon Media employees currently working in Sunnyvale to the Gensler-designed space, which broke ground in late October.
There, Verizon’s employees will have access to amenities like a fitness center and a cafeteria, and they will neighbor the employees of another company that signed on to Hunter Storm’s plans in a big way.
Roku‘s Lease at Coleman Highline
From its Los Gatos headquarters, the company originally committed to 472K SF at Coleman Highline in a deal arranged by Newmark Knight Frank‘s Phil Mahoney, Jeffrey Rodgers and Andy Hueser for Roku and CBRE‘s Jeff Houston and Mike Benevento for Hunter Storm.
Then, last November, it tacked on another 100K SF to its lease before expanding it again by another 162K SF. In all, both Roku and Verizon account for a large chunk of the 1.75M SF of office Hunter Storm envisions for the site.
Micron Technology‘s Lease in North San Jose
As Roku prepared its pen for unfinished Coleman Highline, across town chipmaker Micron Technology grabbed a finished product.
In 2018, Micron leased about 604K SF at North San Jose’s 110-130 Holger Way, giving the Idaho-based semiconductor company great proximity to the adjacent VTA light rail, BART, Caltrain and the many Silicon Valley companies that rely on its products.
The campus’ accessibility to the rest of Silicon Valley’s red-hot commercial growth has also made it a hot commodity for investors. It has traded hands twice in the last two years: first, in December 2017, when Lane Partners acquired it for $225.5M from Brocade Communications Systems, and then in March, when Mori Trust took it over Lane Partners’ hands for $429M, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Apple’s Lease of Central Wolfe
A recap of the decade’s biggest Bay Area leases wouldn’t be complete without healthy mention of Sunnyvale, which has outperformed its midsized peers in having added 7.3M SF of office inventory since 2014, according to CommercialCafé.
Central to Sunnyvale’s explosive office production and absorption is Central Wolfe, leased in its 770K SF entirety by Apple in 2015. Jay Paul Co. closed on the entitled site in for $177.5M in late 2015, after the iPhone-maker had already pre-leased the HOK-designed building.
Though Apple’s foray outside of its hometown Cupertino was big, some deals in north Sunnyvale had it beat during the decade.
Google’s Lease of Technology Corners
In one of the largest Bay Area leases of the decade (and a sign of the search giant’s voracious appetite for real estate to come), Google signed a lease in 2014 for about 950K SF in Sunnyvale’s Technology Corners, developed by Jay Paul Co.
That complex, near others in the Moffett Park area still being developed by Jay Paul, both before and after leases by Google and other tech behemoths of Jay Paul-developed space in north Sunnyvale.
Google’s Lease of Moffett Gateway
A couple of miles from its Tech Corners campus and a couple of years later, Google signed a lease for about 612K SF at Moffett Gateway, a two-building Jay Paul development in the Moffett Park area.
Phil Mahoney of Newmark Cornish Carey led leasing efforts of Moffett Gateway for Jay Paul, which started construction on the site at 1225 Crossman Ave. without a tenant secured.
Facebook’s Lease at Moffett Towers II
Signed last year, Facebook’s deal for 1.05M SF in Jay Paul’s underway Moffett Towers II project topped even its deals up the Peninsula in Burlingame and Transbay.
The social media giant claimed three eight-story buildings and has already begun moving into at least one of them, with the other two expected to come online in 2021.
Amazon, in a less gigantic but still notable deal, will take much of the remainder of Moffett Towers II, Jay Paul’s latest big campus sprouting in Sunnyvale.
Related Topics: Boston Properties, CBRE, Hines, JLL, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Amazon, Salesforce, Dropbox, Salesforce Tower, Facebook, Park Tower, Verizon, Mission Bay, Mark Zuckerberg, Lane Partners, Moffett Towers, Moffett Park, Brocade Communications Systems, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Hunter Storm, Burlingame Point, Moffett Gateway, Coleman Highline, Apple Park, Jay Paul Co., The John Buck Co., Roku, Micron Technology, Kilroy Realty Corp.