Thursday, March 1, 2007

Pay By Touch Joins Accenture in Tech Office Grab

More information from the SF Business Times regarding the San Francisco Tech Boom and the part Pay By Touch is playing by renting 93,000 s.f of space at 506 Mission. Strategic Business Partner, Accenture, agreed to 43,000 s.f. that make up floor 11 and 12 a month earlier. Pay By Touch is taking floors six through 9. Here's the story...

Pay By Touch has agreed to move into 93,000 square feet of office space at 560 Mission St., one of the largest city lease deals of the year and a striking example of the role that technology is playing in San Francisco's office resurgence.

The rapidly growing company has signed a letter of intent to absorb floors six through nine of the dark green Cesar Pelli-designed building, a deal that would double the company's space and absorb all of the remaining sublease space that JP Morgan put on the market. JP Morgan leased the entire building at the time of completion in March of 2000, but has since subleased more than half to other tenants.

The Pay By Touch deal wipes out one of the largest chunks of available space in the South Financial District, an area which has a 7.2 percent vacancy rate, according to CB Richard Ellis' mid-quarter report.

The Pay By Touch negotiations come a month after Accenture penned a lease to take 43,000 square feet on floors 12 and 13 of the building. Accenture has partnered with Pay By Touch since Solidus Networks, which does business as Pay By Touch acquired their biometric patent portfolio from Indivos.

The asking rent for the space was approximately $45 a square foot.

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has seen explosive growth since it was founded in 2002.

The company employs biometrics authentication technology that allows shoppers to authorize payment for goods and services by scanning their finger and punching in a numeric code rather than writing checks or fumbling for credit cards or cash.

The deal is just the latest example of the role that technology is playing in a commercial real estate market that has seen rents spike to an average of $37 a square foot. These deals include BEA Systems 110,000-square-foot lease at 475 Sansome St. and Riverbed Technology's 68,000 square-foot agreement at 199 Fremont.

During the first three quarters of 2006, 113 technology companies absorbed 1.5 million square feet in San Francisco. That is 32.6 percent of all leasing activity in the city, and already 400,000 square feet more than all of last year, according to research by Grubb & Ellis. Over the past three years, tech companies have absorbed 3.2 million square feet in San Francisco.

A Pay By Touch spokesman declined to comment on the deal, which has not closed.

Pay by Touch is hiring 43 more workers in San Francisco and 67 all together. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in San Francisco, Pay By Touch employs 800 professionals and holds more than 50 patents worldwide on secure, convenient and cost-effective transaction solutions.