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What will Uber’s HQ move cause?

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I'm sure you've seen the news that starting in 2017, Uber employees will work in the old Sears Building-380,000-square-foot complex in Oakland. It's a pretty huge announcement. Curious how others think this will affect the city of Oakland? Will Uber's move help foster a tech hub in Oakland? Will we see other startups popping up there?


4 Replies

Dwayne Johnson
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Dwayne Johnson Advisor
Social Alchemist - I build equitable, prosperous, sustainable smart cities and regions.
Depend on how good a community citizen Uber wants to be. Will they engage with community leaders besides developers/government about ways to support community? Create pathways to hire local community folks for the higher paying jobs? Work with local educators to connect curriculum to jobs? Advocate for multi income housing as to not totally displace local residents?

The tech sector is historically blind to local impact issues. Given the recent statements regarding diversity and inclusion, perhaps we'll see something more equitable for the underrepresented communities.
Mike Whitfield
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Mike Whitfield Entrepreneur
Sr. Software Engineer, EPAM, Google
Not qualified to answer, but (I'm tired and done working, so I'm less inhibited) I think this will be "the end" of gentrification. Culturally in the US, gentrification has been going on so long and there's such a strong undercurrent for underprivileged folks to "rise up", I think there's an easy ticket for people to begin hoarding real estate around major metro areas. This is gonna push back on the market, and basically my *guess* is that people are going to start abandoning traditional work altogether as the purse-strings exchange hands with younger and more tech savvy groups. Stage 2 is a corruption battle and an abandonment of commercial real estate.

Will guys like me be jerkoffs any less for saying, "I won't work for companies in NoCal unless they are SV", dunno.

Happy Friday, east coast :)
Zohar Hirshfeld
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Zohar Hirshfeld Advisor
Sr. Director Business Operations, Product Globalization and Chief of Staff for Central Engineering
I don't anticipate a huge impact (positive or negative) for Oakland economy. It seems to be a small company moving to a city of 1.2B annual budget. The income from Uber to Oakland will not move the needle much. I also don't see Uber as a Company with a strong echo system which will attract more company to open office in proximity to their HQ.
Tony Berry-Blum
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Tony Berry-Blum Entrepreneur
Primary Consultant at Tonium Advising San Diego
I think not, other than a rise in the inevitable lunchtime commerce, some companies are naturally poised to be a proactive part of the community, but Uber is not one. The nature of Uber's business doesn't involve people visiting the headquarters for commerce, or even customer service; on the B2B side there isn't much of a difference (they just don't have the need). Unless there are some big changes in how they operate down the road, their new headquarters will not be much of a friendly neighbor, more like a walled off campus (with plenty of people spilling out into Oakland for lunch).
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