Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car fleet that started as a Google project, is zeroing in on San Francisco.
The company has leased a 120,000-square-foot warehouse at 201 Toland St. in the city’s Bayview District, a company spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
The deal comes in the wake of Waymo resuming testing of its autonomous minivans in the Bay Area in June. The trials were temporarily suspended in March as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We can confirm that Waymo has secured additional space in San Francisco that will help accommodate our growing team, and our growing fleet of vehicles equipped with the Waymo Driver,” the spokesperson said on Monday, referring to the company’s technology. The spokesperson added that the company is also actively hiring “engineers, operations leads, and out-of-the-box thinkers to join our Bay Area teams to help us make roads safer for everyone.”
The trucking terminal located on 201 Toland St. was previously occupied by Google Bus, a construction company and a shuttered electrical distribution business. The parcel was sold in March by owner 99 Central Investments to Lift Partners.
Lift Partners, which is focused on investments in office and industrial properties along the West Coast, paid $75 million for 201 Toland St. and an adjacent parcel at 301 Toland St. The properties are separated by Hudson Avenue and combined make up about 140,000 square feet of building area on 5.5 acres.
The lease is for a term of eight years and is worth $26 million, according to Scott Mason, president of Calco Commerical, who represented Lift Partners. Kidder Matthews represented Waymo.
Mason said that the site will be used for vehicle testing and storage purposes.
“The lease is significant because it still illustrates the demand of some high-tech firms during a Covid-plagued economy,” said Mason.
A source with knowledge of the deal said that Amazon had also been interested in leasing the warehouse space before Waymo took it.
Waymo, which was founded in 2009, is headquartered in Mountain View and has offices in Kirkland, Washington, and Phoenix.
The company already leases office space in San Francisco, “where a significant number of our team is living,” its spokesperson said.