Last night, we received an internal email from an anonymous, verified source at Airbnb confirming that the company has officially signed a multi-year, 5-story lease at Zynga’s headquarters in San Francisco’s SOMA district.
The deal will allegedly be the largest office lease in the city this year and make them one of the biggest corporate tenants in SF.
According to the email:
- “Phase 1 will begin in 2018 and will deliver 3 floors of space ready to occupy by 2019.”
- “Phase 2 will commence in 2020, and by 2021, [Airbnb will] be the sole occupants of the east tower at 650 Townsend (the Landlord will continue to occupy the west tower).”
AKA, Zynga. The gaming company bought its expansive 650 Townsend St. headquarters for $228M in 2012 at the height of their Farmville success. Later that year, their stock tanked 75% due to the rise of mobile gaming — and they’ve never fully bounced back.
Back in May, The Information (paywall) speculated that the lease could cost upwards of $15m/year, based on current rent prices in the Bay.
Meanwhile, Airbnb is taking over the neighborhood
Despite recent legal battles with SF over new rental laws which have made it more difficult for hosts to obtain rental licenses, Airbnb has no intention of leaving its home base.
The new office space is just a block from Airbnb’s current HQ in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood, and could allow them to double their current SF headcount to about 3k employees.
Zynga declined to comment on this story, and Airbnb didn’t respond to our email requests.
Probably because the rental site ended its email to employees with a vote of trust: “We trust that you’ll keep this confidential until we make the public announcement.”