Uber’s expansion into Oakland is being massively curtailed as the company opts to buy more property in San Francisco instead.
When the company announced in 2015 that it was building an extension of its headquarters in Oakland, the ride-hailing company promised that between 2,000 and 3,000 employees would be based in the Sears building it pledged to rehabilitate.
Going forward, Uber now only plans to install a few hundred employees, Uber’s head of global workplace Adony Beniares told the San Francisco Business Times.
Uber didn’t go into the reasons for downsizing its expansion plans, but did say it will lease at least half of the available office space it’s painstakingly renovated in the last two years.
Uber’s move into Oakland was supposed to be a marquee moment for the city across the bay. When the expansion was announced, the influx of thousands of Uber employees would have increased the number of tech workers in Oakland by more than 50%.
“Uber is a game-changing company and this is a game changer for Oakland,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said at the time. “It solidifies our place as the center for urban innovation in America.”
Now, Uber is looking less at Oakland and more toward the Mission Bay neighbourhood in San Francisco.
The company has bought office stake in two under-construction projects in the Golden State Warriors’ arena office buildings, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The company plans to occupy at least half of the 580,000 square feet of office space when it opens in 2019, but it has the option to fill out both buildings.
The new property in Mission Bay is only a block from the other headquarters Uber has under construction, meaning Uber could be building an urban campus in the neighbourhood over the next few years.
Both Uber and the Oakland Mayor’s Office did not immediately respond to request for comment.