Space for rent. The latest (last) issue of The Standard has a telling article about the brief meteoric rise and close-trailing crash of the San Francisco commercial real estate market over the last couple years. Our company lucked out—and, obviously, was not dealing at the levels of most of those covered in the article. But we had some hairy days early last year, when the folks we were subletting from told us we needed to be out in 30 days because they needed the space (and we needed more space anyway). We looked at some insanely priced spaces and got asked for stock options and all that. Fortunately, we didn't end up doing anything we regretted, because the PR firm we were subletting from did. They suddenly moved out, and we got a relatively good deal (and short lease) on their space. Rumor has it, they took a place downtown for 10 times the rent, which has to be hurting, as I think most of their clients were of the dot-com persuasion. From the article:

During the first nine months of 2000, the vacancy rate for office space in San Francisco was near zero, and rents on top space surged from about $50 per square foot to more than $80 per square foot. Today, virtually every block of SoMa has at least one For Lease sign clamoring for attention. Some have more than half a dozen. Entire buildings that were refurbished for dot-coms are empty. Vacancy rates have soared to 10 percent citywide, according to Grubb & Ellis, and have a reached a staggering 26 percent—and rising—in SoMa.