Waymo eyes San Francisco office expansion

Waymo eyes San Francisco office expansion

Google’s self-driving car company is seeking to expand its real estate footprint in San Francisco.

Waymo is looking for 60,000 to 80,000 square feet of office space, sources familiar with the company’s real estate strategy have told me. The search comes as the city experiences a glut of space available for sublease as office users shift to remote work policies.

A spokesperson said Wednesday the company has “no specifics to share” regarding its office space search but that it is always “on the lookout for great spaces for our expanding team to flex into.”

“Our Waymo team is growing rapidly, especially in the Bay Area,” the spokesperson said.

In September last year, Waymo leased a 32,000-square-foot warehouse at 201 Toland St. in the city’s Bayview District to accommodate employees and its growing fleet of vehicles. In February, it filed an application to build a fleet maintenance and charging facility at 640 Cesar Chavez St. on the Central Waterfront.

It is unclear which neighborhood Waymo is eyeing for its new space and how soon it needs it.

The company has said it is still developing policies and a timeframe for when employees working remotely will start to return to the office.

Waymo, part of Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), resumed testing its autonomous minivans in the Bay Area in June after trials were temporarily suspended in March as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Over the last decade, Waymo has completed 20 million miles of autonomous driving across 25 cities across the country.

In addition to San Francisco, it has operations in a number of locations, including Michigan and Arizona.

Silicon Valley Business Times reporter Matt Niksa reported in December that Waymo agreed to sublease more than 170,000 square feet at 680 E. Middlefield Road in Mountain View to accommodate its growth. That full-building lease represented the first office for Waymo’s South Bay corporate employees outside of its existing headquarters in the Googleplex at 1600 Amphitheater Parkway in Mountain View.

During the pandemic, the company published the industry’s first autonomous vehicle safety framework applied to a commercial AV ride-hailing service, among other milestones, and continued to grow its California team. Waymo launched a fully autonomous commercial ride-hailing service in Metro Phoenix, Arizona, in December 2018.


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