Uber is apparently not too keen on making Oakland home to its new headquarters, with talks of a possible sale in recent days.
The ride-sharing company paid $123.5 million for the former Sears building, Uptown Station, in 2015, and the building may no longer be useful to them. The original goal was to do major renovations to the historic complex and move 2,500 employees into the 330,000 square-foot location some time this year.
Things haven’t necessarily panned out too well for Uber, and their presence in the area created backlash from the community in a “No Uber Oakland” campaign hosted by activists from The Greenlining Institute. They demanded the company “take certain steps to mitigate its impact on the area, like hiring local and diverse employees, helping local small business, supporting public transit, and increasing its philanthropy.”
Orson Aguilar of The Greenlining Institute made the following comment about recent protests against Uber:
“The building’s empty but there was a big flood of activity right after they made the purchase. A lot of investor dollars came in. We saw a lot of non-profits get priced out. We saw a lot of buildings go through major renovations. Now you see empty signs where they’re clearly looking for tech companies.”
The San Francisco Business first reported Uber’s lack of interest in Oakland, specifically the former Sears building. Although they have been under fire in the past couple of months and have recently hired a new CEO, Uber has had a successful financial campaign and wants to continue that trend. If they end up selling the complex, they will anticipate the cut of potential losses and seek to move to a location that is more in their favor.
An Uber spokesperson spoke with a member of TechCrunch, making the following comment:
“As we look to strengthen our financial position so we can better serve riders and drivers for the long term, we’re exploring several options for Uptown Station, including a sale. We remain committed to serving Oakland and our broader hometown Bay Area community.”
Now that its search for a new CEO is over, Uber will look to find a new location to promote its success and longevity.