Gensler to move from 55K sf HQ in San Francisco

Shorenstein Properties has listed architecture firm’s offices at 45 Fremont Street for lease

From left: Shorenstein Properties' Brandon J. Shorenstein, Gensler's Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen with 45 Fremont St
From left: Shorenstein Properties' Brandon J. Shorenstein, Gensler's Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen with 45 Fremont St (Shorenstein, Gensler, Getty, 45 Fremont)

Gensler, the world’s biggest architectural firm, is poised to leave its 55,000-square-foot headquarters in San Francisco.

The design company said it will move from three floors after its lease expires next year at 45 Fremont Street, in the Financial District, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

The 57-year-old company has occupied space in the 34-story highrise since 2018, when it signed a five-lease with Shorenstein Properties, based in the city.

Gensler said “they plan to relocate next year at the end of their lease,” according to a Shorenstein spokesman interviewed by the newspaper.

Shorenstein has listed the firm’s 55,000-square-foot office, now available for direct lease at an estimated asking rate between $54 and $65 per square foot.

A Gensler spokesman said the company has not signed a new lease yet, but the firm will either “stay at 45 Fremont or move to another location.”

It’s unclear if Gensler wants to reduce its office footprint. The company, which has 400 employees in the Bay Area, did not respond to requests for details.

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Like the rest of San Francisco’s office market, 45 Fremont Street has struggled with tenants giving up their offices during the pandemic.

In February, Slack listed 208,500 square feet on 13 floors it once occupied at 45 Fremont for sublease. Two months later, ditto for Wells Fargo, which pulled out after 19 years from 146,500 square feet across 10 floors.

The building, completed in 1978, totals 692,000 square feet.

San Francisco’s office vacancy rate rose to 24.1 percent in the third quarter, as companies adopted remote work models, according to JLL. The city’s sublease inventory remained flat at 7.3 million square feet, according to third-quarter data provided by brokerage JLL.

CBRE Group pegged the city’s office vacancy at a record 25.5 percent, with major employers that include Salesforce and Twitter giving up hundreds of office desks. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the vacancy rate was 4 percent.

An analysis by The Real Deal last summer found that 14 companies disclosed plans this year to shrink their office footprints in the Bay Area. Ten of those firms were in San Francisco, which had vacated or planned to exit 1.8 million square feet of offices.

Dana Bartholomew

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From left: Salesforce co-CEOs Bret Taylor and Marc Benioff along with Salesforce West at 50 Fremont Street (Salesforce, Dead.rabbit, CC BY-SA 4.0/via Wikimedia Commons, iStock)
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