Avison Young in San Francisco
Although only 47 square miles in size, San Francisco is the innovation capital of the world. Geographically bound by the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, it is home to 860,000 people, making it the second most densely populated city in the United States. Views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and hilly Lombard Street make the City one of the most recognizable destinations.
Besides breathtaking views, San Francisco boasts an incredible public transportation network, world-renowned universities, and a uniquely rich and vibrant culture. One of the most green and comprehensive public transportation systems in the nation, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) services over 430,000 people on the average work day. More than 194,000 people commute to the City on any given day from BART’s expansive network of 45 stations strewn throughout the Bay. Intellectual capital is fed into the San Francisco workforce by nearby universities including UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC San Francisco and Santa Clara. These graduates flock to the City to enjoy the amenities of a 24-hour environment while employers tap into this pool of qualified candidates to grow their businesses. Perhaps more importantly, San Francisco’s distinctive history and melting pot culture has given it a dynamism that attracts not only local talent but gifted individuals from around the world.
San Francisco’s local economy benefits from Fortune 500 companies such as Salesforce, PG&E, Wells Fargo, Gap Inc., Charles Schwa, and McKesson, which all house their headquarters in the City. Not only is San Francisco home to six Fortune 500 companies, it also houses technology giants including Twitter, Uber, LinkedIn, Google, Dolby and Yelp. Additionally, the Bay Area is home to MLB’s San Francisco Giants and the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, as well as the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
San Francisco has one of the best performing job markets in California, largely attributed to the booming technology sector. Its neighborhoods offer a wide variety of traits well-tailored for companies from each and every industry. SOMA for example, characterized by brick-and-timber creative spaces, appeals to the many innovative tech companies operating and based within the city, including Twitter, Pinterest, Airbnb, Dropbox, Lyft, Fitbit, Dolby and Zynga. Mission Bay, an area targeted to companies in the life sciences, houses many of UC San Francisco’s research facilities and other biotechnology firms. Adding to the diversity, the North and South Financial Districts provide the more traditional space tailored for financial services companies such as Wells Fargo, Visa, Charles Schwab, Lending Club Corp., PG&E, and many international law firms. The appeal of Bay Area living for employees, the allure of well-trained talent for employers and the strong desire to acquire limited space in San Francisco create a vibrant and successful office market.
With top notch universities in the City, and Stanford and UC Berkeley located in close proximity, there’s no shortage of well-educated, well trained minds. This factor is largely responsible for interest in San Francisco’s ample investment opportunities. The City is also considered a “gateway to the East,” garnering appeal from international investors. With employers flocking to the Bay Area in order to tap into this rich talent pool, there’s no shortage of demand for quality office space. San Francisco’s restricted space, ensured by its intimate geography, helps mitigate the idea of an overly speculative market. Steady demand and rapidly increasing rents provide stakeholders with substantial reasons to invest in the limited office building supply in San Francisco.