By Meghan Hall
With the future of the workplace unknown to many, one regional tech giant has made the decision to expand its East Bay footprint. Facebook has taken just over 226,000 square feet in Fremont, adding to its portfolio in a welcome positive for the commercial real estate industry, which has faced a tough several months.
The two leases are for 111,465 square feet at 6700 Dumbarton Circle and 115,000 square feet at 6750 Dumbarton Circle, according to a report released by Colliers International and The San Francisco Chronicle. The Class B buildings were leased to printing technology supplier Electronics for Imaging Inc. (EFI) back in 2013.
Facebook’s newest leases come after the company agreed to take 230,000 square feet at 6800 and 6900 Dumbarton Circle. The lease was the largest of the first quarter, according to reports by CBRE at the time. The buildings were previously leased to Tesla and constructed in 2003. Facebook will be taking over for Tesla, the buildings’ original tenant. The master lease expiration at the time that the sublease space hit the market was March of 2029.
Altogether, the four research and development spaces can accommodate about 2,000 employees, although it is not immediately clear how Facebook intends to utilize the buildings. Thus far, Facebook has leased 1.5 million square feet of space in Fremont and 750,000 square feet across 14 buildings near Dumbarton Circle. Developer Peery Arrillaga owns all of the buildings that Facebook has leased.
“The Bay Area is our home, and we’re committed to being good neighbors as we grow — including in Fremont,” told Chloe Meyere, a Facebook spokeswoman, in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re supporting teachers during distance learning through the Fremont Education Foundation, exploring opportunities to support STEM programming for Fremont youth, and we’ve partnered with the City of Fremont to invest in local small businesses.”
Despite the pandemic and plans to allow employees to work from home through the summer of 2021, Facebook has been steadily hiring. The firm has onboarded 4,100 employees during the third quarter alone, bringing its workforce to 56,600 workers. Originally, Facebook intended to add 10,000 to its workforce throughout 2020 and has since exceeded its goal.
Leasing across the commercial property sector in Silicon Valley increased during the third quarter by 64.5 percent. Gross absorption totaled 4.1 million; however, occupancy losses totaled 2.1 million square feet. The overall vacancy rate 5.6 percent at the end of the third quarter. In Fremont in the R&D sector, the vacancy rate was 9 percent at the end of the third quarter, according to a report by Colliers International. Colliers hopes that the increase of leasing activity, despite rising vacancy rates and low absorption, will provide a silver lining for the sector.