Confirmed: Uber is buying a huge office space in Oakland

Steven Loeb · September 23, 2015 · Short URL:

The e-hailing company is said to be buying the Sears building, which would house 3,000 employees

If you know anything about Vator, you know that we are huge fans of Oakland. We've had multiple events touting its prospects, and we are big believers in its potential to rival Palo Alto as the next great tech hub.

So imagine how excited we were when we saw this news: it looks like Uber, the highest valued company in the world, is coming to Oakland!

The company is going to be taking a big chunch of real estate in the Sears building, according to a report out from the San Francisco Business Times on Tuesday. The building is set to open two years from now.

It's unknown right now much space it will be taking up. It could be buying the building outright, like it did last year when it bought Salesforce's Mission Bay building for $125 million. It could also be renting out all most, if not all, of the building's 330,000 square feet.

Either way, we might be finding out soon, as Uber is apparently doing to make a big announcement on Wednesday morning. We will obviously cover it if the company does say anything about this deal.

The Sears Building can house 3,000 employees, and if Uber takes over the whole building it would become Oakland’s largest employer that isn’t a government agency or medical center. So this is a big deal for Oakland, which has been seeing something of an emerging tech ecosystem in recent years.

Entreprenuers like MC Hammer and Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sungevity, as well as venture capitalists like Mitch Kapor, have all talked at length about Oakland's potential renaissance. 

"The thing that is particularly exciting is that Oakland not just any place and, exactly contrary to Gertrude Stein's 'there's no there there,' the here here, for us, and our focus on social impact, is terrific because of the history of progressive politics in Oakland, and the fact that it is multi-ethnic, racially diverse, community, and it has been for a long time. It has been a home to the arts and to creativity in multiple space," Kapor said at our Vator Splash Oakland event last year. 

Uber already has plenty of office space in the Bay Area, about roughly half-million square feet in three buildings on Market Street and another 423,000 square feet in the Mission Bay headquarters, which should open in 2017.

If there's any company that has the resources to revitalize the Oakland tech scene, it would be Uber, a company that simply cannot stop raising money. It has raised over $8 billion in total funding, with four separate rounds of over $1 billion in 2015 alone.

VatorNews has reached out to Uber for comment on this report. We will update this story if we learn more.


The City of Oakland has confirmed the purchase to VatorNews, which will be officially announced later today.

The press conference that will include Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Uber’s Global Head of People and Places Renee Atwood, Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Managing Principal of Lane Partners Scott L. Smithers.

We will continue to update this story with any further details.

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Uber is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, which operates in multiple international cities. The company uses a smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers. 


MC Hammer

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