Waymo grows Mountain View HQ on 170K sf sublease

Alphabet’s self-driving unit agrees to rent second building from Synopsys, which is consolidating Bay Area workforce into Sunnyvale campus

From left: Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO, Waymo; Aart de Geus, Co-CEO, Synopsys; 680 and 690 East Middlefield Road in Mountain View (Google Maps, Waymo, National Academy of Engineering)
From left: Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO, Waymo; Aart de Geus, Co-CEO, Synopsys; 680 and 690 East Middlefield Road in Mountain View (Google Maps, Waymo, National Academy of Engineering)

Waymo has grabbed about 170,000 square feet of additional office space in Mountain View, expanding its Bay Area presence as it races to be the first company to launch a fully driverless commercial ride-hailing service in the region.

The self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet subleased a 170,090-square-foot Class A office at 690 East Middlefield Road from software company Synopsys, spokesperson Nicholas Smith told The Real Deal. The deal builds on Waymo’s December 2020 sublease of the property next door, a 170,823-square-foot Class A office at 680 East Middlefield Road that it’s subleasing from Synopsys through July 2024, according to the latter’s latest annual report.

Smith declined to disclose details of the latest sublease or say when Waymo signed it. Brokers for CBRE, which represented Waymo and Synopsys in the deal, also declined to comment.

Waymo has rapidly grown its Bay Area real estate presence over the past two years as it seeks to be the region’s first to commercialize autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, where it currently is testing self-driving technology. During that time, it’s subleased or leased more than 260,000 square feet of offices, research facilities and warehouse property across Menlo Park, Mountain View and San Francisco, not including 90,000 square feet of land it uses to store vehicles.

Its latest expansion comes less than six months after Cruise, its biggest competitor and a General Motors subsidiary, leased a 58,000-square-foot building in Sunnyvale for 400 employees, the San Francisco-based company’s first Silicon Valley office outside of the four in its home city. Both Cruise and Waymo obtained permits from the California Public Utilities Commission last month to allow them to charge riders for trips with a so-called human safety operator in the vehicle. They each need to obtain additional permits from the commission before they can collect fares for driverless passenger service, Reuters reported in March.

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While it’s unclear how many Waymo employees will be based out of 690 East Middlefield Road, more than 1,000 could work out of the similarly sized adjacent building alone over the long term, the company said in December 2020. Waymo said at the time that it was based in Google’s Mountain View headquarters, where it occupies an undisclosed amount of space, although its latest expansion raises the possibility that it will shift its HQ to the East Middlefield Road complex about four miles away. The complex offers the types of amenities seen in corporate headquarters across the Bay Area, including outdoor work areas, a cafeteria and basketball and volleyball courts.

As for Synopsys, it plans to shift its remaining Mountain View-based employees to its campus in Sunnyvale, where it leased a 152,000-square-foot office building earlier this month, a spokesperson told The Real Deal. It’s renting the adjacent East Middlefield Road offices from landlord Kilroy Realty through August 2030. The move to one campus from two will allow for more collaboration and better in-person connections between its Bay Area employees, Synopsys’ Barbara Donaldson, its senior vice president of workplace resources, said in a statement.

The company had almost 1,600 employees in Sunnyvale in January 2021 and leases or owns about 622,000 square feet of offices there, according to its latest annual report and city business tax data. Most of that space is spread across four buildings within walking distance.

CBRE’s Brian Beswick represented Synopsys in the 690 East Middlefield Road sublease, while the firm’s Vincent Scott represented Waymo.

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