By Meghan Hall
Less than a month after its highly anticipated grand opening in August of 2018, San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center has secured its first retail tenant. OnSite Dental, whose clients include some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies –including Facebook and LinkedIn—has signed a 10 year lease for 2,300 square feet of space on the second floor of the newly-built center. The agreement is significant for the corporate dental chain, as the location will be its flagship office in San Francisco and its first standalone brick and mortar location.
The company, which was founded in 1997, has long brought its dental services directly to its technology clients in Silicon Valley, two of which—Facebook and LinkedIn—have offices just blocks away from OnSite Dental’s new location in the Salesforce Transit Center.
“They have many Silicon Valley tech clients, and they’ve been doing mobile dentistry in the Valley for the last 20 years,” said Andie Katter, a director at Pacific Union International who helped to broker the agreement on behalf of Onsite Dental. “The idea was not only to service the workers at these tech companies, but other companies and their families and the public.”
In the past, the company has brought its services to its clients, using high-tech mobile units to deliver oral healthcare straight to the workplace. Choosing the Salesforce Transit Center was OnSite Dental’s first step in establishing a storefront presence across the larger Bay Area.
The Salesforce Transit Center spans three blocks between Beale Street and Second Street and is 1.2 million square feet spread over six levels. Salesforce, Slack and iShares, among many other companies, are all located nearby and are precisely the types of clients that Onsite Dental is hoping to service in the future.
“Having this legacy and these strong relationships with Silicon Valley employers is a great foundation for us in San Francisco,” added Ern Blackwelder, OnSite Dental’s chief executive officer. “We’re using our reputation to launch a San Francisco presence.”
According to Blackwelder, Onsite Dental was encouraged by several of its clients to expand its presence in the Bay Area, and the Salesforce Transit Center’s proximity to current and potential future clients was an important factor in choosing their office’s first location.
OnSite Dental will rent three suites on the second floor, which will be combined, for a total of 3,475 square feet of space. Blackwelder hopes that they will open their doors by February 2019, and per the lease agreement, call the Salesforce Transit Center home for the next 10 years. OnSite Dental will pay market rate for the space, but Katter and Blackwelder declined to disclose a specific price per square foot.
There are two other spaces on the second level, which will be occupied by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and Lincoln Property Company, which are part of the team—called the “Lincoln Team”—that manages and operates the Salesforce Transit Center.
According to Colliers Senior Vice President Erika Elliott who brokered the deal on behalf of the (TJPA) and Lincoln Property Company, there was a good deal of competition for the space. That competition included several other dentistry firms. Over the past several months, the Salesforce Transit Center has received inquiries from more than three dozen operators, including 18 retailers.
“We are really attracted by local tenants,” said Elliott on Colliers’ decision to pursue a lease agreement with OnSite Dental. “They were born and raised here, and the companies that they service are based here. They grew locally here in the Bay Area, and it really doesn’t get any better than that for our requirement.”
Elliott added that they were hoping for a service-oriented retailer for the space. “This isn’t only just for the employees but for the commuters and the residents of the neighborhood,” said Elliott.
Katter and Elliott agreed that the entire negotiation process—from beginning to end—was relatively quick for a retail space, totaling just six months from OnSite Dental’s first tour of the space to an executed lease.
“I’ve known Andie Katter for over 20 years, and it was a pleasure working with her again,” added Elliott of the team’s effort to move quickly. “The Onsite Dental group was well-organized and ready to move quickly.”
Per the merchandising plan laid out by the Lincoln Team, Colliers hopes to open 13 stores within the Salesforce Transit Center by the second quarter of 2019. Elliott also stated that there are offers on multiple other retail spaces within the Salesforce Transit Center, but Colliers is currently in negotiation with potential tenants and the leases have yet to be executed. Who the future tenants are remains uncertain, but all parties involved are excited for OnSite Dental to establish its presence in San Francisco.
“We worked hard at this,” said Blackwelder. “We really wanted to do this and were proactive and put our best foot forward. We want to help enforce the Salesforce Transit Center’s image because we have a practice that is innovative and forward thinking.”