As Silicon Valley businesses shutter offices, the city looks very different. But will the change outlast the coronavirus?
The pandemic has brought the commercial real estate market in San Francisco to a new low, with work-from-home policies and office closures slowing Silicon Valley-driven business expansion to numbers not seen in at least three decades.
New office-leasing activity in 2020 dropped a staggering 71% compared with the year before, according to the real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, from 7.7m to 2.2m sq ft – the lowest since the early 1990s. Tenant demand also halved during the pandemic, from 6.6m sq ft to 3.3m sq ft.