Extra resources for students of State and Local Government 180, an upper-division GE class in the Government Department at Sacramento State University
Friday, October 14, 2011
SF Chronicle: S.F'.s South of Market neighborhood high tech magnet
S.F.'s South of Market a tech magnet
Andrew S. Ross, Chronicle Columnist
San Francisco ChronicleOctober 14, 2011 04:00 AM
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The love affair between high tech and San Francisco's South of Market district shows no sign of cooling.
Forty technology companies are looking for close to 2 million square feet of office space in San Francisco, most of it South of Market, according to a report by real estate firm Colliers International.
That, as was pointed out in the course of yet another tech office opening attended by Mayor Ed Lee on Thursday, is the "equivalent of nearly four Transamerica Pyramids." Add that to the 1.6 million square feet of net new office space leased so far this year in the city - the highest number in the past four years, according to Colliers.
The mayor was on hand to welcome one of the more recent newcomers to the area, a social-gaming company called Idle Games, which designs games for Facebook, one of which is called "Idle Worship," "the world's first polytheistic god game with exploding bunnies."
The company, founded in 2009, has until now "flown under the radar," co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Hyman told me. It's leased 33,000 square feet at 875 Howard St., across the road from the Intercontinental Hotel.
The space will house more than 185 Idle Games employees within the next 18 months, triple the current number, in part thanks to a new financing round of $10 million from co-founder Richard Thompson, who previously invested $9 million in the company.
Four other tech firms have either moved in recently or will soon be moving from other parts of the city into the refurbished building. They are software developer Pivotal Labs, Web-based microfinance company Kiva, mobile app developer Strobe, and PlayHaven, a mobile game marketing firm.
The 161,000-square-foot, six-story building, which some may remember as the temporary home of the California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium, is already fully leased, said Victor Coleman, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles' Hudson Pacific Properties, which owns the site and is busy buying other buildings in the area. "We already own 2 1/2 million square feet and half a billion dollars in assets in SoMa," Coleman said.