We’ve lived through the many trends of quarantine (ahhh, baking bread, Zoom parties, fashion face masks…) and now we’re witnessing a new trend: the mass exodus out of San Francisco into our very own city of Oakland.
Fast-growing tech firms have long coveted San Francisco for its metropolitan accessibility, convenience, and exciting city life. As companies reassess their needs, they find that most employees can work from home most of the time; however, office culture and collaboration still has an important role. Finding a middle ground in a dynamic, centralized city, with excellent public transportation makes good business sense. And frankly, this allows both employer and employee to put money back in their pockets once normal office life can safely resume.
The pandemic has expedited what companies have been toying with for years: the thought of, “What if we didn’t have to pay these rates for our office space and, what’s more, what if we don’t have to compromise the covetable urban city life?” Major players like Intuit, Credit Karma, and PG&E have opted out of their steep San Francisco leases in search of just that. And we have a feeling they are kicking off a broader movement.
This is a trend that we are particularly excited about (don’t get us wrong, we still love sourdough bread), because this shift has many positive implications for our city. As Mayor Libby Schaaf notes, “We still have people choosing Oakland for their headquarters. We are not out there stealing companies from San Francisco. Our competition is Texas.” (Kawamoto, 2020, para. 9).
Oakland is that rare gem that lends itself to the bustling, exciting cosmopolitan lifestyle but still clings to more affordable rates that lie in San Francisco’s rear view mirror.
It’s no secret that Oakland’s economy is booming, and will continue to boom, as companies elect to move headquarters East. The perception of Oakland is changing: it’s becoming a business hub, an entertainment mecca, a diverse melting pot of techies, entrepreneurs, urbanites, and generations of hard working production. As the Oakland skyline continues to change, demand for housing will soar right alongside, making our homes even more desirable.
There is about to be a huge boom, and we are excited for what’s to come.
References: Kawamoto, Dawn (2020, December 11). Credit Karma relocating headquarters from San Francisco to Oakland. San Francisco Business Times. https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2020/12/11/credit-karma-relocates-its-headquarters.html