San Francisco Office Space for Rent
San Francisco is known for its rolling hills, varying architecture, booming tech and finance communities, and famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. Colonists from Spain founded the city in 1776 and named after St. Francis of Assisi.
Though San Francisco is a popular tourist destination, it’s also home to many. In fact, it’s the 13th-most populous city in the nation. Today, it serves as Northern California’s commercial and financial hub. It houses numerous academic institutions such as the University of San Francisco, University of California, and San Francisco State University. Many big-name public and private companies have headquarters or offices there, including Gap Inc., Fitbit, Dropbox, Airbnb, Reddit, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Craigslist, Weebly, and Salesforce.
San Francisco Office Space | Lease Data and Trends
|Office Space for Lease||Class A||Class B||Class C||Inventory|
|Financial District||$87/sf||$74/sf||$59/sf||54 msf|
|Mission Bay||$84/sf||n/a||n/a||2 msf|
|Union Square||$78/sf||$68/sf||$68/sf||3 msf|
If you’re looking for office space for rent, San Francisco has plenty of options. The city boasts 80+ million square feet of office space inventory, with a vacancy rate of 7%. Because of the thriving local economy, leasing activity is currently high in San Francisco — the amount of available offices for lease has dropped by 15% since 2017. Across all building classes, average asking rents for office space in San Francisco hover around $80 per square foot.
2018 was a significant year for San Francisco’s commercial real estate industry. More than 3 million square feet of new construction came to market, with an additional 4 million square feet of space still under development.
Potential tenants will be able to find a decent range of options in Class A, Class B, and Class C buildings. Class A spaces rent for an average of $85 per square foot, and Class B and C spaces lease for averages of $72 and $64 per square foot, respectively. Of course, lease prices also vary by neighborhood, proximity to public transportation, building age, and amenities.
2017 and 2018 were record years for the San Francisco commercial real estate industry. 2018 saw 21 leases of greater than 100,000 square feet, eclipsing 2017’s record of 18. Notable leases include Google at 1 Market and Two Harrison Street, Twilio at 101 Spear, WeWork at 400-430 California Street, StitchFix’s 38,700 square foot lease at One Montgomery Street, and Strava’s 34,000 square foot lease at 208 Utah Street.
Popular Neighborhoods to Rent San Francisco Office Space
San Francisco’s neighborhoods are as diverse in character and opportunity as the city’s technology startups. This world city includes everything from Fortune 500 companies to a world-famous shopping district to a neighborhood that used to be a landfill. Here is a brief description of some of its most popular areas for office space rental.
San Francisco’s Downtown area has a cosmopolitan feel and features a variety of cultural attractions. It also includes SoMa (South of Market) and the Financial District. The Financial District is the city’s central business district and houses most of the area’s insurance companies, real estate firms, banks, and corporate headquarters. SoMa, on the other hand, is full of warehouses and museums, though it also serves a headquarters for dozens of tech companies as well.
This Financial District, sometimes shortened to “FiDi,” is San Francisco’s business and financial center. All six of the city’s Fortune 500 companies are here: McKesson, Wells Fargo, PG&E, Gap, Charles Schwab, and Salesforce. There is nearly 55 million square feet of office space in the Financial District, with the average asking rent hovering around $83 per square foot.
SOMA includes sub-neighborhoods South Beach, Mission Bay, and Rincon Hill. Many of San Francisco’s technology companies have headquarters or offices in this neighborhood, such as Foursquare, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Yelp, Uber, and AirBnb. The commercial space vacancy rate is 5.7%, and space-seekers can expect to pay an average of $75 per square foot.
Presidio Heights is an upscale, luxury neighborhood located close to some of San Francisco’s most beautiful hiking trails and parks. Residents enjoy breathtaking skyline views, a family-driven community, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Most people that move to this neighborhood stay for a long time.
Union Square is a plaza is one of the world’s foremost shopping districts and a popular tourist destination. Macy’s Union Square is the nation’s largest department store west of NYC. The neighborhood offers just over 3 million square feet of inventory with a 5.9% vacancy rate. Average asking rent is $69.87/sqft.
This sub-neighborhood in SoMa began as an industrial district but has undergone lots of construction that has filled it with hospitals, luxury living spaces, and biotechnology research firms. Right now the vacancy rate is very low, at 2.8%. Those lucky enough to find available office space in Mission Bay will find average rental costs of $84.11/sqft.
Built on a former landfill, much of this neighborhood lies along the San Francisco Bay shoreline. Residents enjoy excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The area attracts a lot of young professionals and is known for its shopping, tourist attractions, and small business community.
What Our Brokers Say About San Francisco Office Space
San Franciscooverlooks the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Treasure Island, and Angel Island. As was aforementioned, the city is known for its topography of rolling hills—and someone counted them; there are more than fifty, and some of the city’s neighborhoods are named after the hill they surround.
Much of San Francisco’s reputation for technology innovation comes from Silicon Valley, which stretches into the city and surrounding areas. Named for the number of silicon chip manufacturers in the valley, the Silicon Valley houses 39 Fortune 1000 companies and thousands of tech startups. More than one-third of the nation’s venture capitalism happens there. The area attracts high numbers of young entrepreneurs and startups from all over the world. More than half of San Francisco residents have a four-year degree.
Software isn’t the only booming industry in San Francisco. Financial services, tourism, consulting, biotechnology, medical research, education, and healthcare are also important and widespread industries in the city. San Francisco’s financial roots stretch back to the California Gold Rush in the twentieth century. The city’s Financial District even has a street called the “Wall Street of the West.”
Getting to, From, and Around San Francisco
San Francisco ranks third in the country for number of residents that commute to work via public transit. The city’s most popular public transportation option is the San Francisco Municipal Railway, which locals call Muni. Muni offers a subway system, a light rail, a bus system, a trolley coach network, and a historic streetcar line. Other public transportation options include the Bay Area Rapid Transit; Caltrain, a commuter rail system; Amtrak California Thruway Motorcoach; and ferry services San Francisco Bay Ferry and the Golden Gate Ferry.
Those who want to travel to and from the city by air can choose from the nearby San Mateo County, San Francisco International Airport or the Oakland International Airport across the bay.
Many San Francisco residents also like to walk or bicycle to work. The city is the second most walkable large city in the U.S. behind New York, and was rated 86 out of 100 by Walk Score. Unfortunately, despite the overall drop in pedestrian traffic fatalities, the number of cyclists injured and killed in traffic accidents remains high as the city builds the necessary infrastructure to better accommodate cycling.