Meta lists massive 435,000-square-foot S.F. office for sublease after layoffs

Meta has listed its entire 435,000-square-foot office in San Francisco’s 181 Fremont tower for sublease, the latest major tech downsizing to hit downtown.

The Facebook and Instagram parent company, which laid off 11,000 workers in November, confirmed the listing on Thursday and said it would retain its larger 755,000-square-foot Transbay office at the nearby Park Tower at 250 Howard St.

Meta is seeking tenants for all 34 floors of office space in the 800-foot highrise, in one of the biggest sublease listings of the pandemic, with space for more than 2,000 workers. Just by itself, the listing adds half a percentage point to San Francisco’s record high office vacancy rate, which was 27.6% at the end of 2022, according to real estate brokerage CBRE. (The city has nearly 87 million square feet of total office space and nearly 24 million square feet was vacant at the end of last year, CBRE said.)

“The past few years have brought new possibilities around the role of the office, and we are prioritizing making focused, balanced investments to support our most strategic long-term priorities and lead the way in creating the workplace of the future,” a Meta spokesperson previously said in a statement. “Our aim is to build a best-in-class remote work experience to help everyone do the best work of their careers no matter where they are.”

Instagram employees work at the Instagram offices at 181 Fremont Street in 2018.

Instagram employees work at the Instagram offices at 181 Fremont Street in 2018.

Santiago Mejia, Staff / The Chronicle

Meta’s real estate pullback has hit other parts of the Bay Area, as well as other major U.S. cities. The company also listed a 113,585-square-foot Fremont building for sublease last month and closed an office in Mountain View, along with office cutbacks in New York and Austin, Texas. It’s a sharp reversal after years of relentless growth and follows a plunge in the company’s stock price and billions of dollars in losses in its namesake metaverse division.

A marketing flier shared with The Chronicle touts 181 Fremont’s “high-end finishes” and “expansive city views,” with direct connections to Salesforce Park and Transit Center. JLL is the leasing broker. San Francisco Business Times first reported the sublease listing.

181 Fremont also includes 55 high-end condos on its top floors, with prices starting at $3.2 million when sales began in 2018.

Meta isn’t the only tech giant looking to shed office space in the Transbay area. Last July, Salesforce listed 350,000 square feet for lease at 50 Fremont St., a building the software company owns, with fewer workers coming to the office due to remote work. That was on top of a previous sublease listing at 350 Mission St. Some of the 350 Mission St. space has since been subleased to Sephora and Yelp. Salesforce, the city’s biggest private employer, had mass layoffs of its own this month, totaling around 8,000 workers.

Meta signed a lease in 2017 for the 181 Fremont tower, in what was its first major deal in San Francisco after it focused growth around its Menlo Park headquarters. The office opened in 2018 and became a major hub for Instagram, which was originally founded in San Francisco.

In May 2018, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger told The Chronicle that 181 Fremont was a way to recruit more employees who lived in San Francisco. Four months later, Krieger and fellow co-founder Kevin Systrom resigned from the company.

Roland Li is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @rolandlisf