Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Office Space is So Scarce in San Francisco that Startups are Fighting to Work at the Mall

Quartz reports:
For a fledgling startup, finding an office in San Francisco can be a real nightmare. Rents are now climbing past $60 a square foot, second only to Manhattan in the US, and occupancy rates are the lowest in the country, according to brokerage firm CBRE.
This means young startups have to get creative if they insist on staying within the city. And Westfield, one of the world’s largest mall operators, has a solution for them:
Bespoke is a 37,000-square-foot coworking and event space within Westfield's shopping center in downtown San Francisco. For $385 a month, entrepreneurs can park themselves at a shared desk and get access to the kinds of amenities that have become commonplace at tech companies, like a bocce ball court, bouldering wall, foosball tables, and even nap pods. Private offices for two people run $1,450 a month.... 
All seven private offices were snapped up even before Bespoke opened its doors, and there’s a waiting list for desks. Prospective members (except those visiting on $35 day passes) have to fill out an application detailing the problems—ideally related to retail—their startups hope to solve. To make sure people don’t game the system, Westfield says it’ll also keep an eye on repeat visitors who buy day passes.

Yup, these are the rates I am seeing in SF. And by a shared desk, what they mean is a very long table you get to sit at with about a half-dozen others. A "two person private office" will generally be less than 100 sq. ft.

Thank you Janet Yellen.



  1. It seems to me that when yet another Fed created bust comes that SF will be like the front lines of a war zone.

  2. It is not surprising for such a commercial spot to experience a lack of office space due to its popularity amongst business owners. Building developers should really look into this issue and introduce more of such office sharing prospects to those in the waiting lists.