Mission Bay Parcels has acquired the undeveloped portions of Mission Bay lots 26 and 27 and all of Mission Bay lots 29-34, a total of 14 South Mission Bay acres, from Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $278 Million with the intention of building a nearly 2 million square-foot campus, four times its current square-footprint in San Francisco.

Two of the acquired lots are directly across the street from UCSF’s new Mission Bay Medical Center which is now under construction, thanks in large part to a $100 million donation from founder Marc Benioff.

58 thoughts on “ Acquires 14 Mission Bay Acres to Build 2 Million Feet”
  1. Great news. I was wondering who would snap up that land including the two completed and empty office buildings across from Mission Rock.

  2. Walking distance to Caltrain and to the in progress chinatown light rail that takes people to BART.
    The location should give their employees a better range of commuting options to enable more of them to live outside of SF, particularly south of SF.

  3. SF employees are currently housed in office buildings clustered around Embarcadero BART station — so I can’t imagine how they will have a better range of commuting options from Mission Bay, Chinatown lightrail or no.
    Anyway this is a big boost for Potrero and south 3rd Street property values (as is the hospital).

  4. It’s definitely a vote of confidence, but also boring landuse-wise to have a large “campus”. (we’ve already got one with UCSF). I personally hope that they change course at some point, and that some of the property is used for other businesses. But that will evolve over time. The good thing is that investment is on the horizon.

  5. There ya go tipster, try to find some way to spin this in a negative light. You ever notice, the good news never gets as many posts?

  6. Mixed emotions about this. Great to see the investment and think ‘tech’ will pay greater dividends and more taxes than biotech, but essentially a suburban style campus over 14 acres in downtown SF? The density is disappointing. The Transbay tower alone will have 75% the square footage. Biggest fear: closed campus creates a five block dead zone right in the middle of Mission Bay.

  7. I thought people said there was no more buildable land in SF? (sarcasm)
    regardless, I’m glad to see development of the area. they’re kind of going for “office park in the city” which wouldn’t have been my original choice, but it adds a diversity of zoning to the city so I guess that’s ok. gotta have office parks somewhere, right? and there is no question that this office park is much more densely packed than office parks in Wichita Kansas or something.
    2M sq feet of office space will be a nice addition.

  8. “I thought people said there was no more buildable land in SF? (sarcasm) ”
    And I thought that SF was dying on the vine, and that Mission Bay was DOA, and that the future was bleak? (sarcasm)

  9. On a side note, the CEO (and founder) of Salesforce and his wife donated $100 million for the children’s hospital being built nearby. This is a big investment personally and professionally in Mission Bay.

  10. “and that the future was bleak?”
    I study nuclear science
    I love my classes
    I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
    Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
    I’m doing all right, getting good grades
    The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades,
    I gotta wear shades

  11. No negative spin here. More commuting options is a positive thing.
    And it’s good for caltrain, too. Ridership has dropped so much they are cutting service as of January, and they say there are more cuts coming.

  12. Seriously, if you see someone pointing out additional commuting options as negative spin, you need to re-evaluate your perceptions of reality.

  13. This will be a great benifit for the area. In addition a potentially welcome increase in property values for homeowners.

  14. good news indeed. but what’s slated for the area between UCSF and the ballpark (lots 2-7)? it’s empty now, save for a couple of parking garages. unless more development surrounds Mission Bay, I’d worry that the several thousand UCSF and Salesforce employees will split after work and the area will be a ghost town after dark.

  15. I’m happy to see salesforce is staying in San Francisco and expanding.
    But I also like to see it is balance by small offices building and not just one large development. The fortune of Salesforce may come and go. The business district will be more healthy with a mix of large and smaller companies.

  16. Biggest fear: closed campus creates a five block dead zone right in the middle of Mission Bay.
    Not completely dead. I’m sure there will be plenty of security guards around.
    On a side note, the CEO (and founder) of Salesforce and his wife donated $100 million for the children’s hospital being built nearby.
    I’m not sure that act was unrelated to this one.

  17. Don’t worry, J, they are just nervous that major employers are moving out of areas that are geared towards people living in SF, and into areas that are more transit friendly to the cities to the south.
    Didn’t Zynga just move from an area with few transit options to the location right around the train station? And craigslist moved from the inner sunset to more out-of the area transit friendly location as well, at least relative to their old location.
    You can clearly see a pattern developing here, and it isn’t to be closer to mission bay housing.
    People used to work in SF, then leave for the bedroom communities at night. The dot com boom pushed people out of the bedroom communities and free and easy money made it hard to find a home down south too. So more people moved into SF.
    But now that things are starting to settle back into the 1996 patterns, the commutes look to be falling back into the city job/suburban home too. So companies further out are grabbing space nearer to transit and companies near transit already are trying to move nearer to caltrain to get access to the south bay. It’s a pretty strikingly clear pattern.

  18. “The dot com boom pushed people out of the bedroom communities and free and easy money made it hard to find a home down south too. So more people moved into SF.”
    So your theory is that people moved into SF during the boom because it was cheap? Really? You’re going with that?

  19. And Salesforce is moving from locations that are more or less 1 block to BART to a new Mission Bay location that is about a mile from Caltrain.
    I’m not sure that’s really more commuter friendly.

  20. How many parking spots will this office park comprise? This is far more convenient to car commuters coming from the peninsula than is the current downtown location.
    Still, every bit of land that isn’t allocated to a neighborhood-blighting indoor sports arena is a good thing.

  21. Hey, try to read whatever you want into this, the direction the companies (the ones that aren’t moving out of the city) are taking is pretty clear: it’s to give their employees better access to southern commuting options.
    Large companies usually poll their employees for their future housing plans before taking a step like this, and they also work with their HR departments to find out why they are losing key employees or not able to hire desirable employees, and then they determine where to locate based on patterns they see.
    People will say, well, my Husband works in the south bay so we want to move halfway between, or we’re having kids and want to be near better schools, or new employees weren’t impressed with the crime and homeless, or whatever.
    The fact is that SF has really done nothing to make people’s lives better in a long time, unless you want to count a “parklet” in a parking space as an improvement, instead of the insulting joke to the few remaining actual taxpayers that it is, pretending to “do something” at virtually no cost to the city because the city is using its resources shuttling the homeless from liquor stores to hospitals. Or did you miss the fact that the city’s plan to “improve” mid market was a similar zero-cost joke that allowed less-than-profitable sized “businesses” to be the “eyes and ears” of a city whose police resources are busy managing the homeless and can’t be “bothered” to be in high crime areas, as if the money-losing businesses wouldn’t realize what a target they were for reporting such crimes to the always absent police force and stop saying anything no matter what they saw. In spite of the flak I’m going to take from the usual developer and realtor boosters on this site, people DO start to notice such things.
    Now that people have options, they are taking them. The direction here is unmistakable. Employees want to live outside of the city and the SF employers will accommodate them, even to the point of building new office buildings to do so.

  22. I am really pleased that 14 empty acres are moving into development.
    But without special care, this is dooming a big piece of land to a single brand name 9 to 6 monoculture, the kind of place people go to dump their old sofa late at night ’cause no one is there.
    I hope that there is the intent to include a lot of ground floor retail in these plans

  23. Other than Lucas’ campus in the Presidio, there really isn’t another area in San Francisco to build a campus. Salesforce would have had to move south to do so. As companies like Google add infrastructure in SF, Salesforce is building a campus.
    I believe this development will have in impact on the future of the Giant’s parking lot. Larry Ellison may be taking over one of the piers in the parking lot of the Giants for the Americas Cup. I believe a hotel will be going into one of the parking lots. The hotel will be desperately needed once the three hospitals are completed. The families of patients have to have some place to stay other than downtown.
    Then comes the big question. With the success of the Giant’s in San Francisco, will the Warriors move back to the city? With Salesforce moving its headquarters to Mission Bay, there is going to be a pretty large group of professionals who need entertainment in the baseball offseason. I was told by a person close to the Giants that the Warriors would increase in value by 30-40% upon a move to the city. Of course, Lacob might have already paid this premium. Yet, over time the price of sports teams always goes up with Billionaires.

  24. I think there is some over speculation going on as to why SFDC did this. It just boils down to two things, 1) they need much more space than what they can get in One Market and didn’t like splitting up the workforce by having the office in San Mateo, and 2) they want to stay in the city. Benioff talks about staying in the city all the time. Where else where they going to get the space in the city?
    I know tons of people that work there, and they live mostly in the city (and it will stay that way because they hire young folks for sales roles, primarily Marina residents), with the next largest group living in the East Bay (on BART lines). This location will be less convenient for both of these groups.
    I am sure the move had nothing to do with being closer to some kind of transportation, which it isn’t, or so that people can drive in from Palo Alto, which they won’t. It just happened to be the only place Fortune’s 4th fastest growing company in the world could expand inside SF and accommodate a global HQ staff in one location.

  25. This is not “downtown sf” as others seem to think. This is, in fact, a more “suburban” portion of land in The City. Nothing wrong with that. High density does not have to cover every inch of land to be viable, or livable.
    This is a great boost for the Mission Bay area. Slowly, this is becoming a neighborhood, yes, brand new so let’s not compare it to any existing ‘hoods. It will evolve with its’ own character and style over time, as more housing, the UC campus and the new hospital get built.
    This is great news!

  26. “Large companies usually poll their employees for their future housing plans before taking a step like this…”
    Tipster, you actually don’t believe this, do you?

  27. I think tipster was the same guy who was making the argument that DT oakland was the logical terminus for HSR due to its location and its “pull” for tourism = ridiculous and agenda driven

  28. funny that tipster KNOWS the reason they chose this location. actually, i “know” too. the reason is because they know people would MUCH rather live in the City and hate the boring suburban lifestyle and this was the best they could do.
    it also proves that more and more corporations are going to move into SF and our economy will boom starting tomorrow.
    or a more logical explanation, if you’re going to cite commuting, is that this location is a compromise for just about any area – City folk, those in the East Bay, even Marin – and those highly sought after “south of SF”. Salesforce central to all.
    And with unemployment at over 9% I think they’ll do fine on job applications from people even further away

  29. hangemhi,
    Good salespeople are never unemployed and are always hard-to-come in any economy, good or bad. Location does matter for employees. This campus will not be open for at least a few years, when there will be better transportation to Mission Bay. Right now, their location at One Market is unbeatable in terms of central location.
    I wish the city would add density to downtown and Mission Bay, so office rates could climb down and keep more companies within SF. The only reason Salesforce stayed is because Marc Benioff is a huge believer in SF and has donated his time and money into making the city better (just look at his donation to UCSF Hospital).
    I have my own company and would love to stay in SF, but SF needs to respect its companies, who create jobs. I could move my company to Boston or any other city, which is courting new businesses right now. I want to stay in SF and look up to Marc Benioff and his commitment to SF. (I wish I had that kind of money to donate to great causes). The SF Government does need to make SF a better place to live and that starts with the MUNI, the schools and the cleanliness of the streets (potholes and homeless). My patience is wearing thin after my recent trip to Boston.

  30. “Large companies usually poll their employees for their future housing plans before taking a step like this…”
    Flame bait

  31. This is great news for Dogpatch IMO. Yep, I’m still boosting that neighborhood 🙂 Caltrain and freeway commuters have an easy time getting in and out there. The gradual gentrification continues with Miscellaneous artisan ice cream/candy place, new restaurant Poquito opening recently (in the space formerly occupied by *real* dive bar Franklin’s and vacant for the last 3 years) and another expansion of Piccino in the works. I don’t know what’s going on with Esprit Park but it seems like the bleeding has stopped. Maybe someday soon they’ll get a tenant for the restaurant space and more of their non-penthouse units sold.
    SFDC is quite a growth story, and it’s a good thing for SF. They need a big campus and it’s either Mission Bay or not in SF at all. The new location is worse for Bart commutes, about the same for Caltrain, and better for automobiles. Suggests to me they expect many employees from the peninsula.

  32. It looks like South SF with remain the center of private biotech, as Saleforce and the UCSF hospital will be taking up most of the land originally envisioned as biotech space. That’s fine– there is still some space for labs to be built if there is interest in the future, but much of Mission Bay is claimed and will be built soon. The Saleforce campus will be convenient to CalTrain 22nd St station and to 280 for cars, but many others will continue to live in the city. More construction workers will get hired, and the city will collect more in property taxes. Win-win-win.

  33. I agree, an ice cream store means the whole neighborhood is poised for a rebound like a coiled spring.
    And regarding Salesforce, instead of speculating on how it would affect an area, perhaps we can look at the effects of all of the big biotech companies that moved into South San Francisco in the last five years and see how that shot up property values in the area. A check shows that they are down about 30%. So it doesn’t appear that even a relatively large employment center really affects the price of housing in one area or another by all that much because people will fan out for some distance when making a purchase, and you have two income families who might have other considerations, like the location of the other spouse, schools, etc.
    Yes, I’m a buzzkill because my whole life I’ve seen boosters boasting that this or that will boost property values. Even an ice cream store! But in reality it never seems to do anything. The only thing that really works is a) easy lending, b) a bubble, or c) low unemployment in the entire region and little building opportunities. Salesforce’s announcement has none of these things.
    In the case of salesforce, Radiance has plenty of capacity to build: if there is much demand in that immediate area, it will be filled instantly and prices will continue to decline from their bubble levels unabated. And, though I am sure they will grow, this is just one company moving two miles away. Anyone working at Salesforce who wanted to live in Mission bay already lives there, but as noted by another poster, many of their employees didn’t make that choice, they chose to live much farther away.
    Salesforce has a large san mateo campus that they will probably ditch when this is built, and most of those people will just stay living where they are and take caltrain. A few will move to SF, and a few others working now in SF will use the location’s proximity to Caltrain to move OUT of SF. The net for SF will probably be something very close to zero. If it isn’t, Radiance will build more than enough supply to fill it.
    I’m just so tired of boosters who always come out of the woodwork to claim that “the city repaired a small crack in the sidewalk and so now the whole region will take off”. It NEVER happens.
    The only people who make these statements have some vested interest. The reality is always quite different. SSF hasn’t skyrocketed up since those biotech companies moved in. This will be the same nothingburger. But it will never stop the boosters. It never does.

  34. Tipster – you suggest employment and business does not help the immediate area and property values in that area. You reference SSF over the last 5 years and the 30% decline as evidence. Question – if biotech companies did not move into SSF 5 years ago where would SSF values be today. 5-10% down? same 30% down? or greater 40-50% down.
    You also suggest SFDC move to Mission Bay does nothing to improve this neighborhood. I would argue an employment campus is better then empty lots of dirt anyday. It may not bring 1000s of new residents to the neighborhood but it does continue to establish this neighborhood. It will attract additional retail business and as this happens, residents will follow. I’m not saying housing is going to jump 20% in this area or anything ridiculous but to say the development of 14 acres of dirt doesn’t have a material impact to the surrounding area is just as ridiculous. Rebuttal?

  35. FTB,
    First question, no I don’t believe it affects adjacent property values by much. Let’s look at extreme examples. Say property values in mission bay went up by 100%. People would just move another mile away where property values were not affected and buy cheaper. So it helps slightly, but not by very much. People just aren’t afraid of a 20-40 minute commute. That can take you halfway down the peninsula. And you’ve got Radiance and ORH and others ready to take up the slack in the local area. So given that supply is not constrained, I don’t think this helps by much.
    As far as businesses, boy I sure wouldn’t want to open a restaurant to compete with the subsidized ones Salesforce will build. So that’s a nonstarter. A few dry cleaners, pack and ship and other mom and pop stores and such might open there- probably a drugstore too, but I doubt it will be much of a boon. The area around Salesforce right now is dead, dead, dead on the weekends: tough to make a profit when your clientele is gone or otherwise occupied for all but about an hour and a half per day, 5 days a week, but you have to pay rent on the space 24/7. People tend to show up at work at the last minute and then vamoose afterwards. A few businesses can survive in that atmosphere, but not many. It will be a modest boost from a business standpoint.
    Lots of businesses parks in the burbs much larger than this have one very small strip center that serve the whole place and never do very well. Without the restaurant traffic, I doubt many retail businesses could stay open even there and SFDC will no doubt have their own subsidized restaurants nearby.
    The best example of this is Great America Office Park in Santa Clara. Probably 40 city blocks – one small strip center is all the retail.
    Here’s the office park:,+ca&fb=1&gl=us&hq=great+america+parkway+and&hnear=U.S.+101,+Santa+Clara,+CA+95054&cid=0,0,11075614291424980507&ei=ZdTRTLzpC42isQOnlZnfCg&ved=0CBwQnwIwAQ&ll=37.40054,-121.979184&spn=0.012546,0.01929&z=16
    Here’s the entire retail for it, mostly restaurants (if you drag around you can see Yahoo right across the street):

    View Larger Map
    Property taxes, yes a big help. No question.
    Otherwise, no, not much of an effect. Property values near yahoo are not up. Retail near Yahoo is not up. Yahoo is on just one of the 40 blocks.

  36. “The Bunk” has it right. SFDC needs way more space than they could get by acquiring offices piecemeal around 1 Market. Most employees are pretty bummed about the prospect of moving to Mission Bay. Not only do their commutes get worse (esp. BART and ferries), but they’re worried that they will feel less connected to the rest of the city. And I don’t think anyone is expecting a big recruiting boon for people living to the south.

  37. 666 Folsom is not the best location, but I think it is better for two reasons.
    1. It is closer to BART
    2. It gives employees a better Caltrain to MUNI option (3rd street) or just walking. has a great business model, but I would be concerned if Google or Oracle purchased the company.

  38. ^^^ In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the reasons salesforce bought these parcels is to make themselves a more-attractive acquisition target.
    They’re not making any more office land in SF capable of supporting a proper corporate campus, as others have mentioned.
    A (very) quick glance at their balance sheet shows how it looks like they can pay for it out of a recent debt issuance — QE working as expected!

  39. “Skyrocketing ” and improve are not synonymous. After the employee poll silliness, and suburban corporate parks versus surrounding ? Good grief.

  40. ^I’ve been polled twice, Apparently, you’ve never been polled. Maybe they just poll their most valued employees?

  41. CW is that large companies do not consult employees about h.q. location, and that’s down to many infamous examples. You said, “usually,” and that’s nonsense. Further, if you think people would be willing to believe your personal anecdotes at this stage of your posting career, I’m not sure why that might be. And again, “skyrocket” is not “improve.” You’re arguing that vacant wasteland slated to be developed and to host commerce is not an improvement. It’s mindboggling how crazy you’ve gotten on here.

  42. dub dub, I am sincerely interested, no kidding or snark, on how a company can become a more attractive acquisition target by buying up more land financed by debt issuance. I thought the more attractive companies would be ones that have little debt and lots of current assets on their balance sheets.
    Anyway, I applaud Marc Benioff and for doing this. All too rare.

  43. A funny thing about polling: at my last company, they polled us a few times on a possible move to Santa Clara. The results of the poll were overwhelmingly against the move. Never mind the results, they dragged us from Palo Alto to Santa Clara, probably due to the location being closer to the CEO’s home.
    Over time, the majority of the employees who lived in SF vanished to other companies.

  44. “…they dragged us from Palo Alto to Santa Clara, probably due to the location being closer to the CEO’s home”
    Maybe, but more likely because leases are far cheaper in Santa Clara compared to Palo Alto. There’s still a ton of vacant office space in north Sunnyvale/Santa Clara. PA still carries a premium across the entire RE spectrum : residential, commercial, class A, NNN, … everything is more expensive in PA.
    I’ve been polled only once regarding a move. In general polling doesn’t make too much sense because employees commute in from all directions. No matter which direction you move the gains of some employees are offset by longer commutes by the employees coming in from the opposite direction.
    This move from FIDI to Mission Bay is yet another nothingburger with the exception that it will benefit those who commute by car due to the greater amount of parking available.

  45. “Biggest fear: closed campus creates a five block dead zone right in the middle of Mission Bay.”
    Michael – I agree, it would be a huge mistake to close that half mile N-S strip to public access. Salesforce’s security manager will likely push for such a closed campus since it is cheaper and easier to patrol but I hope that the city sees how damaging such a move would be to the surrounding properties.

  46. “I’ve been polled twice, Apparently, you’ve never been polled. Maybe they just poll their most valued employees?”
    OK, so lets assume that statement is true. How do you go from your own limited experience to the generalization that large companies go through employee polling exercises on future housing plans?
    I honestly don’t know and I’m sure it does happen but I’m skeptical that anyone outside of the C level employees really have any significant input on matters of office relocation. If you have evidence please provide, otherwise I can only conclude that you decided to make it up.

  47. Hi Brahma — Their balance sheet is fine regardless of this debt issuance. Plus the property (in essence) backs the debt, and I haven’t heard anyone say they got a bad price for it.
    Many investors in mature companies consider future returns on equity, not assets alone — in other words, your debt level should be “just right”, not too high (obviously), but not too low, either.
    Cisco recently issued debt to pay a dividend (officially for “general corporate purposes”). And microsoft is considering something similar.
    [I’m quoting business week to show how this should be uncontroversial information, not because I read business week :-)]
    Many tech companies should intelligently “lever up” in this environment, and in fact, they become even stronger when they do, because weaker entities can’t — it’s like they are firing up their own corporate printing press, using cash to buy other companies, or corporate campuses.
    Salesforce didn’t have to use any “existing” cash to buy this property — they just sold debt at (presumably) favorable terms to punters chasing returns because of our quantitative ZIRP environment.
    And now they own a contiguous corporate campus, accessible to the rest of the valley, and they aren’t making many more of those.
    It’s also rumored that Salesforce has been looking to be acquired, and I wondered above if this purchase is part of that strategy. Who knows? I can’t keep all the pieces straight, even if I had the time to try (and fail) 🙂

  48. “probably due to the location being closer to the CEO’s home”
    I’m 100% in agreement. You can take a look at polls, at commute patters, etc., but 8/10 times it is all about where do all the execs want to live.

  49. As an SFDC employee, I am excited about the future campus and look forward to the innovation, collaboration and energy the team will bring to one central space.
    Making the commitment to build a world-class HQ is a very good thing.

  50. Such a waste of prime real estate. Should have been held by the City and Redevelopment for all the citizens use and enjoyment; instead, the Public gets one tennis court adjacent to the (stinky) waste treatment plant, and two basketball courts literally underneath the freeway.
    Insulting and pathetic. This is the real Willie Brown legacy, perpetuated by Gavin Newsom.

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