Alexandria Pins Down Pinterest for SoMa Lease

Three months after acquiring a site in San Francisco’s hot SoMa neighborhood, Alexandria Real Estate Equities has signed Pinterest to a long-term, full-building lease.


505 Brannan St.
505 Brannan St.

By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor

Three months after forming a joint venture to acquire an office development site in San Francisco’s hot SoMa neighborhood, Alexandria Real Estate Equities has signed Pinterest to a long-term, full-building lease at 505 Brannan St.

Pinterest has been growing in the city’s South of Market submarket, particularly on Brannan Street. It currently has its headquarters at 808 Brannan St. as well as other rented space at 651 Brannan and 888 Brannan, according to the San Francisco Business Times, which noted that the image-sharing technology company is leasing about 335,000 square feet now.

505 Brannan I
505 Brannan St.

“We’re proud to have been a part of the SoMa and Brannan Street community for the past three years, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to remain in the neighborhood as we create a service that helps people all over the world unlock creativity,” Natalie Fair, head of finance for Pinterest, said in a prepared statement.

The deal with Alexandria, one of the largest office REITs focusing on the science and technology sectors, calls for Pinterest to take all the space in the 150,000-square-foot building. It is fully entitled under Proposition M, and vertical construction is expected to start in early 2016 and be completed a year later. The site is near a future light-rail stop that has connections to BART and the Cal Train terminal and is close to Moscone Center, the city’s largest convention center.

Alexandria announced the joint venture with TMG Partners for 505 Brannan St. in May, with TMG acting as the developer of the building that is targeted for LEED Platinum certification. The San Francisco Business Times is reporting that the JV partners filed preliminary plans with the city to expand the building by an additional 180,000 square feet after it’s built.

505 Brannan St.
505 Brannan St.

The Pasadena, Calif.-based REIT said it has developed approximately 3.1 million square feet of office and laboratory space in San Francisco. In addition to 505 Brannan St., it owns 510 Townsend St., 1500 Owens St., 1700 Owens St., 1455/1515 Third St., 455 Mission Bay Blvd. South and 409/499 Illinois St. Tenants include Uber Technologies Inc., Google Inc., Celgene Corp. and Roche.

“We welcome Pinterest to its new home in our SoMa/Mission Bay innovation cluster. 505 Brannan St. represents another meaningful extension and integration of Alexandria’s Mission Bay campus into the SoMa technology district, reinforcing the intersection of two extremely innovative locations,” Joel Marcus, chairman & CEO of Alexandria, said in a prepared statement. “This important lease with Pinterest reflects our success and allows Alexandria to continue enhancing its urban science and technology campus strategy in AAA locations.”

Besides San Francisco, Alexandria has dominant market presence in Boston, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland and the Research Triangle Park. As of June 30, the REIT had an asset base of 31.1 million square feet, including 18.8 million square feet of operating and current value-creation projects and an additional 12.3 million square feet of development projects. Last week, Alexandria sold a 70 percent stake in 225 Binney St., a 305,000-square-foot property in Alexandria Center at Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., to TIAA-CREF for $190.1 million. A month earlier, Alexandria announced Bristol-Myers Squibb would be the anchor tenant in 100 Binney St., a 431,500-square-foot research-and-development center also being built at Alexandria Center at Kendall Square.