Chevron to sell 92-acre HQ campus in San Ramon

Oil giant to seek smaller headquarters in East Bay city, relocate some workers to Houston

Chevron's Michael Wirth with 6001 Bollinger Canyon Rd, Chevron
Chevron's Michael Wirth with 6001 Bollinger Canyon Rd (Zillow, Chevron)

In another Bay Area headquarters squeeze, Chevron plans to move to a smaller corporate office in San Ramon while shifting some employees to Houston.

The global oil company plans to sell its 92-acre San Ramon headquarters and relocate within the East Bay city late next year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Its Chevron Park complex at 6001 Bollinger Canyon Rd. has 13 buildings containing 1.4 million square feet of office space, serving more than 2,000 workers.

The nation’s second largest oil firm aims to leave its home of two decades to adjust to its office space needs, a company spokesman said.

It’s offered to cover moving costs for workers who volunteer to move to Houston, where it occupies the former Enron headquarters downtown. The Texas office employs 6,000 people, about three times as many as the San Ramon headquarters, where staffing levels declined after a reorganization in 2019.

“The current real estate market provides the opportunity to right-size our office space to meet the requirements of our headquarters-based employee population,” Chevron said in a statement. “Chevron will remain headquartered in California, where the company has a 140-year history and operations and partnerships throughout the state.”

Chevron’s roots in San Francisco date back to 1879 and the Pacific Coast Oil Co., which later became part of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

For 3½ decades, Chevron was based on Market Street in San Francisco before moving its headquarters in 2001 to San Ramon. The company has a major refinery in Richmond, with more than 3,000 workers.

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The company’s 92-acre campus in San Ramon could offer a redevelopment bonanza. The adjacent 585-acre Bishop Ranch, owned by Sunset Development, added a mall in 2018 and proposed building up to 4,500 homes.

“It’s a generational redevelopment opportunity and it almost certainly won’t stay in its current form,” Trent Barmby, senior managing director at commercial property firm Jones Lang LaSalle, told the Journal. “In today’s world and what’s happened with offices, that is not going to be its highest and best use.”

Chevron’s headquarters move follows similar corporate headquarters downsizing across the Bay Area and the nation during the pandemic, as more employees work from home.

In the Bay Area, the headquarters office shift was led by tech firms such as Salesforce and Airbnb, which were joined by traditional wing-tipped companies such as San Francisco’s Wells Fargo bank and law firm Farella Braun + Martel.

Across the nation, businesses are reconsidering headquarters space as they ponder a future of hybrid home-and-office work, while weighing potential benefits of moving operations to states with lower taxes and costs of living, according to the Journal.

Machinery giant Caterpillar and aerospace company Boeing recently said they would leave Chicago and move their respective headquarters to Arlington, Va., and Irving, Texas. Defense contractor Raytheon Technologies said it is moving to Arlington from Waltham, Mass. Hedge-fund firm Citadel said it would move from Chicago to Miami.

[Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle] – Dana Bartholomew