Tech Boom Drives Turnover at Popular SoMa Address

For a sign of how the region’s technology boom is progressing, consider the growth going on at just one San Francisco building that has attracted start-up tenants.

A year ago, the 75,000-square-foot building at 410 Townsend St., near AT&T Park, had filled to capacity with young tech companies, after hovering at a 60 percent vacancy rate in late 2008 as the financial crisis hit. Now many of those start-ups have grown so much they have had to move out to bigger digs, while some remaining tenants have cannibalized the space.

“In 30 years in real estate, this is the fastest-growing building we’ve ever had,” said Chris Economou, the San Francisco leasing manager for PMI Properties, the landlord for 410 Townsend. “We’ve never had start-ups that have gone from 10 people to 200 so fast.” He adds that PMI is now able to charge rents of $34 to $35 a square foot at the property, up from $18 to $20 a square foot 18 months ago.

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