Snap and Supercell ink worker-appealing deals in SF’s “suburban market” 

San Francisco’s Northern Waterfront has drawn tech firms Snap and Supercell, which have inked deals to move into Levi’s Plaza.

The Santa Monica-based Snap, parent company of social media platform Snapchat, has signed a lease to return to the city at a 37,500-square-foot office at 1105 Battery Street, in the Northern Waterfront, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Helsinki-based Supercell, mobile game maker that created “Clash of Clans” and “Clash Royale,” signed a lease for 16,400 square feet at an undisclosed building in Levi’s Plaza. 

Terms of both deals were not disclosed.

Jamestown Properties, based in Atlanta, bought the nine-building, 900,000 square-foot Levi’s Plaza in 2019 for $825 million. 

The deals represent a shift by tech firms away from Downtown San Francisco into a more idyllic, suburban-like setting, according to the Chronicle.

Jamestown President Michael Phillips believes demand by such tenants is for “amenity-rich, campus environments imbued with green space and experience-driven programming” in outlying neighborhoods.

The city’s Northern Waterfront has become a “new epicenter for such spaces, emerging as a destination that blends work-life and leisure amenities,” Phillips told the newspaper.

Snap shelled out an unspecified sum last year to exit its office lease two years early in South of Market, as part of a restructuring that included 500 local layoffs. The move out of its 33,000-square-foot SoMa office at 875 Howard Street left Snap with no presence in San Francisco.

But like other tech firms, its shift to remote work didn’t last. A month after closing its local office, Snap told workers they must return to a brick-and-mortar office four days per week, starting in February. 

So late last month, Snap signed a lease for a slightly bigger office far from the city’s Downtown. 

A decade ago, Supercell inked a deal for 22,000 square feet atop a 52-story tower at 555 California Street in the Financial District. It’s not clear whether the firm wants to abandon its sky room for Levi’s Plaza, or whether it will keep both offices.

The Northern Waterfront where both companies are headed is the “closest thing to a suburban market that we have in San Francisco,” Colin Yasukochi of the Tech Insights Center at CBRE told the Chronicle.

Derek Daniels, regional research director for Colliers, said such campuses are desirable to returning workers.

“People want a safe, comfortable place to work,” he said. “Tenants and landlords are competing against the couch. So, do you have a space that’s going to get people to want to leave their home to work?” 

On the landlord side, Jamestown may be shifting away from Downtown. Last month, the firm defaulted on $93.1 million in mortgages tied to two historic office buildings in Downtown San Francisco.

— Dana Bartholomew

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