Waymo continued its rapid Bay Area office expansion, agreeing to sublease 48,000 square feet from Uber Technologies in San Francisco’s Financial District. The company now has taken a total of 250,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in the city and in Mountain View over the last 12 months.
The self-driving car company’s deal is for a portion of Uber’s space at 555 Market St. The San Francisco Business Times and other news outlets reported the news Wednesday.
The lease comes less than a month after Waymo said it was opening up rider testing of its self-driving cars in the city. The company plans to fill the space with more than 280 employees at the start and hopes to grow that number in the future, a Waymo spokesperson said Friday.
The office space will include employees focusing on Waymo Driver, what the company calls its autonomous driving technology.
Waymo’s Boris Sofman said the firm’s return to the office will be “in a variety of modes, from full to hybrid to remote, over the months to come,” according to the report.
The sublease is active through the end of Uber’s lease term but the company declined to disclose details. Uber is leasing its Market Street space through Aug. 31, 2023, according to an online sublease listing.
The ride-hailing giant confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2019 that it was marketing all of its space there, totaling 235,984 square feet, as well as three other offices in San Francisco for sublease.
Founded in 2009, Waymo began as search giant Google’s self-driving car project before spinning off into a standalone company, although it’s still owned by Google parent company Alphabet.
The size of Waymo’s workforce, both in the Bay Area and in general, is not publicly known; it does not publicly disclose headcount or future growth projections, the spokesperson said.
But its growth over the past 12 months — particularly in the Bay Area — is reflected in its leasing activity. In September 2020, Waymo signed an eight-year lease on a 32,000-square-foot warehouse at 201 Toland St. in San Francisco’s Bayview District. In December, the company said it subleased more than 170,000 square feet of office space in Mountain View, where it keeps its headquarters in Google’s “Googleplex” complex.
Waymo also said in December that it was opening a new research-and-development facility in Menlo Park for its trucking division in early 2021, although that facility’s address and size haven’t been publicly disclosed.
[SFBT] — Matthew Niksa