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Growing Tech Companies Optimizely And Amplitude Outgrow Their S.F. Headquarters

Internet optimization platform Optimizely appears to be the latest tech company to ditch its San Francisco command post. It is yet another example of how the coronavirus pandemic has hammered the city’s office market with falling rents and low leasing volume. 

San Francisco skyline

Optimizely’s 2013 lease for 78K SF at 631 Howard St. is set to end on July 31, S.F. Business Times reports. It served as the company’s headquarters, housing 260 of its employees in the South of Market neighborhood, but Newmark now lists the entire 109K SF building as available for lease. The Class-B building was built in 1929 and renovated in 1968, according to the listing.

S.F.’s relatively high rents, combined with market uncertainty that is expected to continue until at least mid-2021, are seen as responsible for the departure of many tech companies seeking more room for growth in other markets. S.F.’s Q4 2020 vitals showed office vacancy at 11.2% and 867K SF of negative net absorption, according to a report from Colliers International. Class-B took the biggest beating for overall quarterly rental rate change, going from $80.29 per SF in Q3 to $59.93 per SF in Q4, a 25.4% drop.

Episerver announced the acquisition of Optimizely in September, according to a press release. On Feb. 8, under the new Optimizely branding, the company revealed global expansion plans in 2021 for its B2B Commerce Cloud. 

It is unclear if these changes are related to Optimizely’s departure from its Howard Street headquarters or where it will re-establish itself. Founded in 2010, Optimizely has 350 employees across several cities in the U.S. and abroad. The company opened a new office in Austin, Texas, in 2018, citing plans to “add multiple key engineering roles in Austin, in addition to its growing team in San Francisco,” in a press release.

Optimizely isn’t the only one not renewing its lease at 631 Howard. Analytics company Amplitude is also freeing up space in the building owned by Invesco and managed by Harvest Properties, S.F. Business Times reports. Amplitude recently released its 2020 business results showing that the company’s revenue grew by 50% with 400 customers added.