San Francisco, California currently has only a 14.1% vacancy rate, which is not that large for a city whose economy is deeply tied to the world of finance, which not only requires space for themselves, but for the network of associated services needed to support them, such as law firms. The city, the main banking center on the west coast (Bank of America was founded here, and the city is also the corporate home of Wells Fargo), is home to a number of national and international financial entities, and is also the location of one of the Federal Reserve Banks. Despite the relatively low vacancy rate, rental rates for office space in San Francisco have not bombed as much as one might expect, and are currently in the $33.50/square foot range. Rental terms have also remained constant during this time. Current building projects due to open soon are limited to two residential towers, but there is a proposal for an 80-story high-rise as well that would be completed in 2014. Transbay Terminal Tower would be part of a revitalization project and will become one of the tallest skyscrapers on the west coast. A proposed 60-story building, Sun Tower, would be for mixed use (office, retail, and residential) and has a tentative completion date in 2013.
Along with its strength as a financial powerhouse, San Francisco is also a popular tourist destination. The Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars have become symbols of the city through their frequent use in movies and advertising. San Francisco’s Chinatown, in many minds, remains the one and only Chinatown, and names such as Nob Hill and Fisherman’s Wharf are instantly recognized as San Francisco locations by a large number of Americans, as are images of the city’s many hills and Victorian homes. In the bay, the island of Alcatraz, once an ultra-maximum security prison housing the likes of Al Capone and Robert Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), draws great crowds for the tour. Pier 39 is another popular destination, featuring restaurants and shops, an aquarium, and a carousel. The view includes Alcatraz, sea lions, and Golden Gate Bridge, and the pier is considered a wonderful family outing by most.
But the city is also home to some lesser-known treasures. The San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park showcases a collection of ships from the 1800’s and early 1900’s, and has a research library and museum. The California Academy of Sciences is one of the largest museums of natural history in the world and features an aquarium and planetarium; it is located in Golden Gate Park, which is over 1,000 acres in size and is home to numerous other attractions. The performing arts are also present in abundance. San Francisco boasts a ballet company, a symphony, and an opera. In the Theater District, several theaters built in the 1920’s often host touring companies from Broadway shows.
San Francisco’s population is 808,976, which represents a 4.2% increase over 2000. Unemployment is at 10.4%, around the national average, and the crime rate of 55 per 1,000 residents is not horrible for a city of its size and the number of tourists. However, San Francisco is one of the most costly cities in America, with a cost of living of 182%, which brings with it when trying to rent an office space in the Bay Area - especially in San francisco. If you are a tenant and looking to move in to a new building or simply wanting to relocate, search for a lease that will accommodate your needs. With the economic times, any landlord should be willing to negotiate whether it be for an executive suite or a large commercial warehouse, even a personal office space in San Francisco.