Palo Alto >> In a bid to tap into the South Bay's deep talent pool, Uber Technologies will open a big engineering office here that could potentially employ 700 people, the ride-booking company said.
"This new office will allow us to grow our teams and continue to attract world-class engineering talent to make transportation as reliable as running water," Thuan Pham, Uber's chief technology officer, said Tuesday.
Through a lease deal, San Francisco-based Uber will occupy 140,000 square feet in two buildings at 900 Arastradero Road in Palo Alto. The engineering center, set to open in the fall, represents the company's farthest-reaching push to tap directly into the world's most skilled pool of technology engineers and executives: Santa Clara County.
"Uber and other tech companies are trying to be near the Silicon Valley talent," said Chad Leiker, a vice president with commercial real estate firm Kidder Mathews. "They are doing all they can to attract good engineering talent."
The company intends to make South Bay prospects aware of what it can offer employees. During the summer, Uber will host what it calls a series of "tech talks" before the fall opening.
Uber also is building a new headquarters in San Francisco's Mission Bay district, and the company is busy renovating an office and retail building in downtown Oakland that will become a co-headquarters.
The transportation company hopes to open its new Oakland offices in 2017. Uber has yet to break ground on the Mission Bay site, but that complex is expected to open in 2019.
"The deals that Uber has done in San Francisco and in Oakland, and now in Palo Alto, show that they want to increase their reach into all these talent pools," said Jon Cannon, senior managing director with Newmark Cornish & Carey, a commercial realty firm.
With the deal in Palo Alto, Uber also is planting its flag in one of the most prestigious corporate hubs in the nation.
"Palo Alto is always very desirable," Cannon said. "Look at the roster of companies that are located there."
The Oakland building, known as Uptown Station, includes 330,000 square feet of offices and 50,000 square feet of retail space. Potentially, 1,600 Uber employees could work in the Oakland offices.
The future Mission Bay site will total 423,000 square feet. Uber will retain all of its San Francisco facilities, even after it completes the Oakland expansion.
In September, Uber had 2,000 employees, not counting its contract drivers.