A report from CBRE finds that tech remained the most active industry in office leasing last year, despite an overall dip in activity, and will likely see a continuation of demand in 2021.
The Bay Area typically holds the top spot in tech office-leasing, but slipped in 2020 after Seattle leased a total of 3.4 million square feet to tech organizations.
Still, it is likely that 2020 is an outlier as the pandemic led companies to take a break from leasing activity, meaning the Bay Area could make a comeback this year.
There are indicators that companies are ready to bring their employees back into the office. For instance, Uber opened its new headquarters in Mission Bay with limited occupancy at the end of last month, while Google and Facebook announced their own reopening plans for this spring.
However, leasing in San Francisco remained relatively stagnant at the beginning of the year. According to Jesse Gundersheim, Director of Market Analytics at CoStar Group, the largest lease signed during the first quarter was by Goldman Sachs, which took up 88,000 square feet on California Street.
But Chris Roeder, Executive Managing Director at JLL, believes that there is a glimmer of hope in the Bay Area, particularly in terms of hiring.
“If you look at the top 25 largest public companies in the Bay Area — all of them hired a significant amount of employees during Covid,” said Roeder. “A lot of them had record hiring — very few of them have leased more space. But the hiring was a record.”