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By Tim Hunt

Workday walks away and 10x Genomics scoops up mall site

Uploaded: Sep 1, 2020

The pandemic already has shifted the real estate situation around Stoneridge Shopping Center.

The last several months have shown that tech employees can effectively work from home. Many big companies have had international locations or contractors for years so working remotely for teams is nothing new. What’s new is closing entire buildings. Some big firms, Microsoft, Goggle and Salesforce already have announced they will not expect workers back in the office until sometime in 2021.

Here locally, Workday opened its new headquarters next to the West Dublin-Pleasanton BART station last year. It also tied up the 14-acre JCPenney home store site for additional buildings. I’ve heard a Workday real estate executive speak and he emphasized the company’s commitment to being in Pleasanton.

However, the pandemic shifted the anticipated expansion space and Workday walked away from that purchase.

Instead fast-growing 10x Genomics has entered into contract to purchase the site. 10x makes cutting edge tools for researchers in the life sciences that require lab space. For software companies such as Workday, their employees can work anywhere there’s an internet connection for their laptop. For 10x, it will be an ideal site within a quick stroll from their current leased headquarters just down the street.

The pandemic also has significantly changed the residential real estate market. We spent last week in South Lake Tahoe enjoying our timeshare. Smoke in the basin was so heavy when we drove in Saturday that we could not see the lake from Echo Summit. Fortunately, winds came up and the smoke cleared out in a couple of days leaving perfect August weather.

Listening to the Reno Fox affiliate, it was striking to hear the number of real estate agents pitching their services, including one who was ready to buy for cash. The Wall Street Journal printed a piece last Wednesday that explained home sales are soaring in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area as well as the Reno/Carson City area.

The article quoted salesman Mike Wood who said he planned to close 31 homes in August worth $14 million compared to 18 worth $8 million in 2019. National builder toll Brothers reported “unprecedented” activity at its 16 communities in Reno.

The article cited Tahoe Mountain Realty statistics that showed home sales in June and July more than doubled to 532 compared to 2019, while sales on the Nevada side rose to 157 from 71, according to Coldwell Banker Select Real Estate, Inc.

Inventory has been squeezed, falling to about 60 home versus 421 last year. Prices, naturally, have climbed up 43% to $1.26 million on the Nevada side.

What were once seen as second-home communities now are primary residences.


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