HQ tumult continues in SF as Qualia Labs looks to sublease space at Salesforce West tower

CEO says digital real estate outfit might move to Austin

Qualia Labs' Nate Baker with 50 Fremont St (Todd Johnson, iStock, LinkedIn)
Qualia Labs' Nate Baker with 50 Fremont St (Todd Johnson, iStock, LinkedIn)

A digital real estate services firm based in San Francisco has listed its 39,0000-square-foot headquarters for sublease.

Online platform Qualia Labs plans to offload all of its space in the 43-story Salesforce West tower at 50 Fremont St., in the Financial District, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

Three weeks ago, Qualia listed the 37th floor, then added the 36th floor last week, effectively pulling up stakes with nine months in on a three-year lease.

CBRE is marketing the space at close to $70 per-square-foot, the newspaper reported. The building is owned by Salesforce, which occupies most of its space.

It’s not clear where Qualia is headed. Nate Baker, its founder and CEO, has said he was thinking of moving the headquarters to Austin, where the company opened an office five years ago. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Business Times.

Since launching in 2015, Qualia – which streamlines the home-buying process – has grown to over 500 employees. It reached unicorn status in late 2020 after raising $65 million in a Series D funding round that suggested a value of more than $1 billion at the time.

The company’s San Francisco headquarters housed 75 employees, according to CoStar.

According to the sublease brochure, the space provides a newly built open and creative layout featuring 144 desks, eight small meeting rooms, plus a meditation and mother’s room.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The listing adds to San Francisco’s office sublease inventory, which has grown in the last two years as many companies have switched to remote or hybrid workforce arrangements. At the end of the first quarter, there was 8.2 million square feet available on the sublease market, according to CBRE.

The move by Qualia to close its headquarters follows other tech companies that have reevaluated their corporate headquarters needs.

TaskRabbit, a worker-for-hire platform with more than 300 employees, announced this week it would be closing its San Francisco headquarters and all its physical offices to work remotely. Before the pandemic, its corporate office took up nearly 20,000 square feet over three floors.

Now the IKEA-owned firm will pull up stakes from its downsized headquarters of 7,500 square feet at 425 2nd St. in Rincon Hill.

The Qualia relocation also follows recent corporate moves by Ripple, Splunk, Wells Fargo, and the State Bar of California, which mostly downsized to smaller offices in favor of a hybrid office and work-from-home employee model.

Not every company is downsizing in the city––Finix, a payments company, just moved its headquarters into a larger office as other firms trim office space to work from home. The financial tech firm relocated from South Park to a century-old Art Deco building in SoMa.

[San Francisco Business Times] – Dana Bartholomew

Read more