Uber Mission Bay Campus Rendering 2016

With the anticipated groundbreaking having been pushed back, SHoP Architects has refined the designs for Uber’s two worldwide headquarters buildings to rise up to eleven stories in Mission Bay, upon the former Salesforce parcels at 1455 and 1515 Third Street, adjacent to the Golden State Warriors arena and event center site.

In addition to open office areas for desks, amenities and multi-purpose spaces, three ground-floor retail spaces have been added to the 410,000 square foot campus plan.

And a private child care center for 53 children of Uber employees and contractors, and six children from the Mission Bay community, has been added to the eastern side of the urban tech campus and will connect to the development’s privately owned public open space (POPOS) which will front Bridgeview Way.

Uber Mission Bay Campus Rendering 2016 - POPOS

The campus is being developed in a partnership between Uber and Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

The final design approval for the development is now expected in two weeks time. And based on a new construction schedule and groundbreaking by the end of the year, the campus will likely be ready for occupancy around the middle of 2018.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by hgh

    It looks like it partially survived WW3.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Outstanding piece of new, modern, urban architecture.

      Your sarcasm fails.

      • Posted by SFJohn

        your two-bit critiques continue to fail

      • Posted by hgh

        Coming from the “who needs natural light?” camp, that’s high praise.

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      Great comment, for Project Runway. What exactly makes it look like it survived a war?

      • Posted by hgh

        Oh, I don’t know, maybe the partially rattan, netting enclosed look in the first picture? Even the rendering fetishists amongst us have to admit it’s insane.

        Plus it’s a “campus” the size of ATT park. Talk about a culture-less wasteland.

  2. Posted by ananimal

    Remarkable. SF is going to wet the bed.

  3. Posted by AnonAnon

    I think it looks great.

  4. Posted by two beers

    Now, if only the company can figure out how to make a profit!

  5. Posted by Mike

    Thumbs up.

  6. Posted by johny

    @ two beers: Uber doesnt make a profit? How are they paying for all of this then?

    • Posted by anon

      In the first half of 2015 they lost almost $1B on $660M in net revenue.

      Forget unicorns, we need a catchy name for companies that are losing over $1B per year!!

    • Posted by two beers

      By means of the overall downward standard of living caused by the hollowing out of the productive economy by the pirate captains of the financialized economy to float this startup ghost fleet, we’re all paying for this uber-Ponzi scheme.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Awesome! This sums up half the San Francisco pseudo-economy.

  7. Posted by tahoekid

    Q: How are they paying for all of this then?
    A; VC funding. Very few, if any of these great business models can exist without the constant supply of outside capital

    • Posted by frog

      VC funding is propping up many ventures. But Uber is doing exactly what they should do: expand and spend money on the regulatory problems their expansion is causing. They’ve got a great product and if they raise prices 10-20% most of their customers will stick around. This is the same thing Amazon has going for it. They have expanded for a decade, but at any point could become highly profitable just by stopping their expansion.

      My small business has the same issue – we don’t have outside investors, so we have to be a bit more careful with the cash flow – but we are growing quickly and so are spending a ton of money on facility upgrades, capital equipment and new employees.

      This does make Uber very different from many other “unicorns” which aren’t quite as sticky. As an aside, I’m surprised that Evernote isn’t doing well. The people who use it absolutely love it. It’s hard to believe they can’t monitize that.

      • Posted by anon

        Given the current investment climate, you can’t blame management for doing what they’re doing. Management and early investors could get a serious payout if things go well. They just need to cash out to some other party at a high valuation.

        But looking at this as a business or as a late stage investor you have to question the end game.

        What’s the end result of these massive losses? A technology platform? Maybe, but while their app is IMO slightly better than Lyft it doesn’t seem an insurmountable barrier to competition. And it’s only going to get easier to duplicate. 15 years ago building a high volume web site was difficult, these days many college students can do it.

        Dealing with regulatory issues? It’s useful to them, but also to any current or future competitors.

        Sticky customers? Mehh. Many of the drivers I encounter these days work for both Lyft and Uber so the actual service being provided to me is essentially a commodity. What pricing power do you have when you have no differentiation in the service being provided?

        Many companies have tried the gambit of selling a dollar for 70 cents to get volume and then hoping that those customers will stick with them when they tried selling a dollar for $1.25 and many many have failed at this.

        I’m not saying they’re guaranteed to fail just that to be a real business all this money being lost now needs to eventually translate into money being made later.

        In your small business, you can’t survive by losing a bunch of money on equipment now only to get undercut by competitors and lose more money later.

        What makes it tricky looking at these large VC’ed companies is that management/early investors can get large payouts even if the company eventually finds itself in distress.

        • Posted by SFrentier

          A huge factor will be driverless cars. And I think uber is trying to place themselves right in that mix. Will it work? Hard to tell, but they have a compelling app, back end system and deep pockets to be the nexus to this new “industry.” I certainly wouldn’t discount them.

          • Posted by two beers

            Driverless cars! Technological labor arbitrage! C’mon, kids, get those robots on the road quick, or we’re f*cked! What, you mean the robots can’t read faded road lines? Damn commie infrastructure! Maybe we can invest in robots to repaint all of America’s faded roads lines! Yeah, that’s it! More robots!

      • Posted by hgh

        That’s fine, but if you have an entire neighborhood subsection constructed around this economy, and there’s little to no market for such buildings if the company goes belly up in 4 years, or simply decides to move…it’s a problem.

        • Posted by two beers

          Are you saying there can be a downside to putting all of your economic eggs in one basket?


    • Posted by MarketSt

      Great! Nothing better than separating rich people from their capital, with or without a return on investment, to the benefit of those who actually work.

  8. Posted by Shmendrick

    Uber’s business model is not as great as it’s cracked up to be. Yes, it’s a nice customer experience, but not for their ‘partners’ -the drivers who are suing them for the right to be employees. That may well come to pass under a Hillary or Bernie administration. The UK and other countries are after them for tons of back taxes. There are thousands of lawsuits against them all around the world…any company whose biggest expense is legal, that represents huge risk.

  9. Posted by alberto rossi

    Given the all wood look, it’d be cool if they actually constructed it that way. See “US Tall Wood Building Prize Competition”.

  10. Posted by Pablito

    That last photo is weird. It shows stairs and what appears to be a 10’+ grade difference. Mission Bay is flat as a pancake. Are they building a Hill?

    [Editor’s Note: Yes.]

  11. Posted by heynonnynonny

    Beautiful renderings. With all those warm sunbeams streaming through who cares what the building looks like?

  12. Posted by donjuan

    Really looking forward to this and Mission Rock being built. Mission Bay will become a unique, economically and culturally significant district in San Francisco. I have high expectations for Mission Rock architecture as well.

  13. Posted by moto mayhem

    that is a very cool design.

  14. Posted by garrett

    wow, they are aggressively building out. between this and the sears building in oakland, they will have quite a bit of office space in sf/oakland

  15. Posted by james jr

    Love it. Build it.

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