Amid a worsening outlook for San Francisco’s office market and as vacancy continues to rise, a bright spot has emerged. The artificial intelligence company Hive, which creates APIs that help moderate content and identify objects, is subleasing 57,000 square feet in an office tower in downtown San Francisco. The firm signed on for three floors at 100 First Street, taking over space that had previously been leased to the software company Okta. In addition to Hive’s lease, more than 10 AI companies are looking to lease upwards of 800,000 square feet of space in San Francisco’s office market, Bloomberg reported. Several of the most well-known AI companies are headquartered in San Francisco, including OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT.
The news of Hive’s lease and other AI companies eyeing space in San Francisco comes at a time when the city’s vacancy rate is at an all-time high. Office vacancy in San Francisco was nearly 32 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to CBRE data. Lucky for the city it is the center of he AI industry, which is growing rapidly. Venture capital investment in AI has grown 13-fold over the last decade and is expected to create tens of millions of jobs over the next few years. One of the most well know open AI companies, ChatGPT grew to over 100 million users and 1.8 billion monthly visits in just over a month. The development of AI is a groundbreaking, difficult task that is made easier with teams working together in shared workspaces. If AI helps bring San Francisco’s office industry back from the grave then it will be another example of how, while some companies don’t see a need for an office, others will eventually fill in to take their place.