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Empty office buildings (20.5%) dot Silicon Valley

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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:35 PM
Original message
Empty office buildings (20.5%) dot Silicon Valley
Source: San Jose Mercury News

From the sidewalk on Almanor Avenue in Sunnyvale, you can look across an empty parking lot to the ground floor of a spanking new office building and see the Bayshore freeway traffic whizzing by on the other side.

The five-story structure is one of a growing number of empty buildings scattered around Silicon Valley, visible emblems of the layoffs, mergers and downsizing and new construction that have helped trigger what is arguably the slowest valley commercial real estate market since the dot-com bust.

... The valley's 20.5 percent office vacancy rate is the highest since 2003, according to surveys by CB Richard Ellis and Grubb and Ellis, and has hit 53.4 percent in Sunnyvale. An 18.9 percent vacancy rate for research and development space the largest commercial real estate category in the valley is the highest since early 2006.

At the moment, there is 29.1 million square feet of vacant research and development space and 12.6 million square feet of empty office space in the valley; that includes 277 completely vacant R&D buildings and 39 completely vacant office buildings, according to CB Richard Ellis, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate firm with an office in San Jose.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_13172315
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, tough ass to them.
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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The human tragedy here
... is that so many high-tech jobs in the Valley -- including nearly the entire manufacturing base -- have either been outsourced or farmed out to lower-wage H1Bs.

Tech professionals certainly aren't hurting as bad as, say, the agricultural workers in the Imperial County of 30% unemployment, but it's still quite bad ... and what makes it worse is that there's no sign of any impending recovery anytime soon. Not as long as the bean counters can get the goods more cheaply from Bangalore.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The real tragedy
...is that there are homeless people in that same community. Perhaps its time to require an on-site live in manager (to prevent vandalism) in those vacant buildings.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Bingo. n/t
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. this happened in Bangkok under the East Asia Crisis
IMF said that restrictions on investment were bad because they were un-free-market; investors build office towers; investors pull out; office towers left empty, and industry robbed of investment
IMF: bubbles do not exist and McD's is your savior
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hopefully this will stop development into Gilroy
:(
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. And because SO many of those buildings are glass
and steel, and without the obligatory cubicles inside, they are called "see-throughs". Some have sat unoccupied since the build out for the dot-com boom, only to be never occupied in the dot-com bust. And now, some 8 to 9 years later, they still sit.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Can they be converted into shelter for the homeless or something?
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Not easily, but I suppose it could be done.
It's empty office space, not enough facilities built in to make even group housing out of it. The kitchen areas are very limited, often just a sink and no garbage disposal. Not enough bathrooms either, plus no privacy space (though I suppose that could be fixed).

I just don't know if they could house the homeless there. I'm sure the building owners (who have long term very low interest construction loans for the buildings) would not be interested in such a use.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
8. I watched The McLaughlin Group
on PBS Friday night and that jerk, Zimmerman of World News and Report, said our economy doesn't need manufacturing....we will depend on High Tech! What an idiot.

Companies are risk adverse...all they want to do is shuffle green paper around on Wall Street. They rather spend money on Advertising than R & D.

The only R & D done in this country is Financial R & D....new ways to play with green paper. This nation has become a joke.

I didn't have to be that way. People can't start businesses because they can't risk NOT having health insurance...especially if they have kids.

WASF.

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Fiendish Thingy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. These buildings are "shovel-ready" to be converted into something productive...
like solar panel manufacturing factories, or satellite DOJ offices for prosecuting predatory lenders (plenty of those in Silicon Valley), or VA mental health centers, for example. Why not use some stimulus funds this way?
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. return them to orchards?
Sadly, the buildings have altered the underlying soil to much to replant all the trees that were ripped out to build them without a lot of time and effort.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
13. Same thing in Kanata, aka "Silicon Valley North" - 19.5%
The cycle of office life in Kanata

Suburb has the city's highest rate of office space vacancies, at 19.5% or 905,000 sq. ft. Smart businesses will see the bargains as an opportunity, some experts tell Maria Cook.

~snip
Nevertheless, about 905,000 square feet of unused space remains, mostly in Kanata's four business parks. A big chunk of space is due to Dell closing its call-centre operations last year, leaving two 150,000-square-foot buildings empty.

One, a three-storey pre-cast concrete building with blue glass on Farrar Road, was custom-built for Dell as a call centre with 800 parking spots. Dell never moved in.

Coincidently, the building the company had occupied on Solandt Road was originally built for Nokia -- but Nokia never moved in.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/cycle+office+life+K...

I'm just another casualty of all those lost businesses.

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