Silicon Valley Companies Relocate To SF - Apartment Rents Skyrocket

In this pair of 'cause and effect' articles, USA Today reporters describe the many companies seeking new office and R&D sites in San Francisco, whether relocating from expensive downtown Palo Alto, the South or East Bay, or outside the state or U.S.

July 28, 2012, 9:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


Jon Swartz and Scott Martin report from San Francisco, the new "Silicon Gate" as the print article was titled.

"San Francisco boasts the highest tech-jobs growth rate in the nation, according to real estate services firm CBRE. Current growth is about double the rate of the next two fastest-growing markets of New York City and Silicon Valley.

Its growing appeal as tech's nexus is powered by affordable office leases relative to the old Valley, favorable business taxes, and the allure of a major city."

For example, "San Francisco has vacancy rates of 9% to 10% for premium spaces that run about $50 per square foot, compared with 4.4% vacancy and $73 per square foot in Palo Alto."

"Young designers and software engineers also prefer the urban landscape, so companies are flocking to San Francisco to recruit top talent. Big and small tech companies are setting up headquarters here - Twitter, Zynga, Pinterest and Pulse, among them.

Companies are moving to San Francisco from the Valley because (their employees) don't want to be riding a Wi-Fi bus. They want to ride a bike to work," says Caroline Green, Northern California director of research for real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Companies "are trying to get any advantage they can - and location is a key advantage."

But what's been good for companies seeking new homes or offices has not been good for their employees, reports Martin in in the accompanying article, "San Francisco apartment rents soar as tech companies grow"

"In the past three months, average asking rents are up 12.9% from a year ago, according to market data by RealFacts. Studios now fetch over $2,100 a month here."

"San Francisco is the nation's unusually hot spot because of the tech boom, says Nick Grotjahn, spokesman for RealFacts. 'The incomes and salaries these people are making are far greater than the rest of the United States.'"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in USA Today

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