Ride-hailing giant Uber is adding a huge new office in Oakland, Calif., just across the bay from its San Francisco headquarters.
The company has bought a 330,000 square-foot former Sears building, now named Uptown Station, from real estate development firm Lane Partners for an undisclosed amount. Rumors of the purchase surfaced earlier this month.
The Oakland office will be the third leg of Uber's headquarters when it opens in 2017, a testament to the company's size and growth into a business valued at $51 billion. Uber will retain its current half-million square-foot office in San Francisco on Market Street, where its 2,000 current employees work. It also plans to open a another 423,000 square-foot space in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.
The Oakland office will hold between 2,000 and 3,000 employees, Uber said to a number of media outlets. If the building is filled to its 3,000 person capacity, he company will become the city's largest employer outside of government agencies and health care centers, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
The building sits atop a BART station, the Bay Area's subway system that connects San Francisco and the East Bay. It is therefore easily accessible to both employees living in the East Bay, and those residing in San Francisco, still the main residential hub of the area's tech industry employees. In recent years, San Francisco has become home to dozens of tech startups and large companies like Twitter (twtr) and Salesforce (crm), which has drawn a large influx of new residents and put pressure on the local real estate market. Many observers have argued that companies should begin to consider Oakland and adjacent cities for their offices, especially as some young professionals have begun to favor it over the more expensive and crowded San Francisco.
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