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-   -   How Is Covid-19 Impacting Life in Your City? (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=242036)

the urban politician May 8, 2021 2:39 PM

At this point at outdoor soccer games, etc we are at a middle point where there is a hodgepodge of people either wearing masks or not wearing masks.

Being 100% focused on science and reason, I now stopped wearing masks completely outdoors, partly because I like breathing. Plus, unlike all of those WFH snowflakes I literally wear a mask ALL DAY EVERY DAY at work and have been doing it for well over a year, so it lost all of its novelty ages ago. It’s stifling!

Probably over the next few months people will stop wearing their masks outdoors and the only people left still doing so will be those germaphobe types or those weirdos akin to those hermit characters who own 9 cats and yell at people who walk by their house

the urban politician May 8, 2021 2:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9273537)
So this is very interesting - Google has walked back a bit on forcing people back into the office.....

https://patch.com/california/paloalt...k-change-plans

As a permanent remote work advocate, I consider this a win for my side....

The tug of war continues....

This is very short sighted. All that needs to happen is more time, when the pandemic fears are mostly behind us and the labor market swings back into employer’s favor. Then the WFH snowflakes will be fucked.

I think that WFH is self-centered and count me in 100% on the side of you are at your employer’s pleasure, and if they want you to be somewhere you need to be there if you want to keep collecting a paycheck.. I see no reason those dynamics will change, except in a few people’s wet dreams.

10023 May 8, 2021 3:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 9273553)
I think because California was one of the first states to get hit and then New York was hit hard. Texas and Florida were spared until the summer with a false sense of security leading up to it. I was in California last spring when covid was beginning to be taken seriously in the US and there was panic already and same with New York while here, it was business as usual with few cases.

There’s also a question of who is being tested and when.

If NYC was, as a hypothetical, testing all city workers every day or every other day, then that’s a huge volume of essentially useless testing.

If another jurisdiction has free testing widely available, but people are using it in a targeted way (like when they suspect they might have been exposed or feel symptoms), then you may have fewer tests but still capture the cases.

Then if you’re like England until recently and making people pay £80 for a rapid test or £200 for a PCR test, then no one is going to get a test unless their employer is paying for it.

TWAK May 8, 2021 3:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 9273573)
Once again: Give it a year. I predict not only will companies find more and more reasons to ask employees to come to the office for a day or a week, but the more ambitious employees will be coming in more and more on their own over time, finding it career-enhancing.

There has got to be cost savings from not having employees coming into work, with an extreme example of one of these placing going fully online. Maybe in terms of insurance or utilities, with the main one being building leases. On the other end I think it can contribute to employee savings with transportation, but the people with kids have a different situation.

iheartthed May 8, 2021 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 9273533)
Because he lost his shit publicly when the media hounded him about not locking down. And then maybe a week later Florida's shitty numbers dropped like a rock.
It's suspicious as hell.

As already pointed out, you can "Fudge " the numbers by calling it something else.
And why did NY and California double the testing of Texas and Florida?

I don't think Florida is deliberately suppressing COVID numbers. New York just tests a LOT. New York is far above the national average, with the fourth highest testing rate in the country. There have been about 2.7 tests administered for every resident of New York, 1.5 for every California, and 1.3 for every Floridian. And by testing so much, New York just understands outbreaks and spread way better than Florida does.

Another way to look at it: Florida has a similarly sized population to New York (state), but New York is currently administering about 200k tests/day versus Florida's roughly 60k/day. By having a much more robust testing apparatus, New York will probably detect outbreaks at an earlier stage than Florida.

SIGSEGV May 8, 2021 7:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9273718)
There has got to be cost savings from not having employees coming into work, with an extreme example of one of these placing going fully online. Maybe in terms of insurance or utilities, with the main one being building leases. On the other end I think it can contribute to employee savings with transportation, but the people with kids have a different situation.

it also is a large cost on employees in that they need to maintain a home office with reliable internet.

Pedestrian May 8, 2021 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9273718)
There has got to be cost savings from not having employees coming into work, with an extreme example of one of these placing going fully online. Maybe in terms of insurance or utilities, with the main one being building leases. On the other end I think it can contribute to employee savings with transportation, but the people with kids have a different situation.

The office vacancy rate in San Francisco is the highest I can recall ever (40 years) because of companies trying to sublease what they now consider unneeded office space due to employees working at home. Whether they can actually sublease it successfully is another matter but they are trying and will save money if it works out for them.

But here's the other part of it some may not be expecting:

Quote:

The Work-From-Home Boom Is Here to Stay. Get Ready for Pay Cuts
By Noah Buhayar December 17, 2020, 2:00 AM PST Updated on December 18, 2020, 12:55 PM PST

. . . Like many people during the pandemic who could suddenly work remotely, M______ had moved without figuring out all the details with her employer. One thing they hadn’t discussed was salary. Now that she lived in an inexpensive city, [Compnay X] asked, would she be willing to accept a pay cut?

It’s a question that’s been foisted on many white-collar employees. In February only 8% of the U.S. workforce did their job entirely from home, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. It spiked to 35% in May, as offices stayed closed and workers fled to less densely populated areas. The work-from-home rate has fallen a bit since and will drop further as vaccines are distributed. But a substantial number of workers are likely never going back to their old offices.

This shift has been especially pronounced in the tech industry, which has a high concentration of employees who can work from anywhere but are based (for now) in expensive coastal cities. Facebook, Microsoft, and Stripe have announced that more employees will be able to work remotely indefinitely. Like [Company X], those companies are also adjusting pay for workers who relocate. M_____’s salary and bonus will go down about 20% next year if she stays in Rochester. She’s resigned to the trade-off, at least for now. “So much in the world is not how I thought it would be,” she says . . . .

If the exodus to second cities and exurbs becomes permanent, it has the potential to improve corporate balance sheets, remake labor markets, and profoundly reshape the American landscape . . . .

Extremely expensive areas (the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas) would continue to command the highest salaries and equity awards. Recruiting and retaining people in two of the most costly housing markets in the country would be impossible without paying top dollar. Expensive areas such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, and Washington, D.C., as well as their suburbs, would hew to the same levels [company X] had been paying employees in Seattle.

After that, there was a big group of mid-tier areas. Anyone who moved from an expensive place to one of these would get a 10% to 15% reduction in cash compensation (salary, plus bonus), as well as 10% to 20% less in stock. These included Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Philadelphia, as well as Frisco, Texas, just outside Dallas, where Redfin has an office. The company also threw in a few cities in the Pacific Northwest, including Olympia and Bellingham in Washington, and Bend, Oregon.

Everything that didn’t get called out—which included vacation spots such as Aspen, Colo., Rust Belt towns like Detroit and Rochester, and some major metro areas like Atlanta—ended up in a vast (and vaguely insulting) bucket called “Rest of the U.S.” Employees who moved to these places would expect a 20% reduction in cash compensation and a 25% cut to equity awards, even though a few of these locales were bound to have higher costs than Seattle.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...-of-big-cities

So yeah, the company will save money multiple ways and you may well be making less. For real city-lovers, it could be a double whammy: Losing the fun of big city life (which has admittedly been nowhere to be found during COVID but will be back) and making less money (albeit probably needing less).

JManc May 8, 2021 7:43 PM

I have been applying to several SF based companies (remote) lately so I'm glad the WFH thing for them is taking off as their job market is much better than ours here in Houston.

Pedestrian May 8, 2021 7:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 9273924)
I have been applying to several SF based companies (remote) lately so I'm glad the WFH thing for them is taking off as their job market is much better than ours here in Houston.

Papa John's Pizza said last night on CNBC they have lots of openings.

JManc May 8, 2021 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 9273925)
Papa John's Pizza said last night on CNBC they have lots of openings.

Cool story but I ain't delivering pizzas with four college degrees.

Pedestrian May 8, 2021 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 9273926)
Cool story but I ain't delivering pizzas with four college degrees.

Do 4 college degrees come with a sense of humor? You know I'm kidding you.

JManc May 8, 2021 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 9273939)
Do 4 college degrees come with a sense of humor? You know I'm kidding you.

https://i.gifer.com/6fi2.gif

craigs May 8, 2021 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9273667)
At this point at outdoor soccer games, etc we are at a middle point where there is a hodgepodge of people either wearing masks or not wearing masks.

Being 100% focused on science and reason, I now stopped wearing masks completely outdoors, partly because I like breathing. Plus, unlike all of those WFH snowflakes I literally wear a mask ALL DAY EVERY DAY at work and have been doing it for well over a year, so it lost all of its novelty ages ago. It’s stifling!

Probably over the next few months people will stop wearing their masks outdoors and the only people left still doing so will be those germaphobe types or those weirdos akin to those hermit characters who own 9 cats and yell at people who walk by their house

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9273679)
This is very short sighted. All that needs to happen is more time, when the pandemic fears are mostly behind us and the labor market swings back into employer’s favor. Then the WFH snowflakes will be fucked.

I think that WFH is self-centered and count me in 100% on the side of you are at your employer’s pleasure, and if they want you to be somewhere you need to be there if you want to keep collecting a paycheck.. I see no reason those dynamics will change, except in a few people’s wet dreams.

Why are you using a politicized, culture-war term like "snowflakes" to insult people who work from home?

Is it because you aren't profiting as much from your urban residential real estate as you did when everyone was physically commuting into the Loop, and you think you can better increase your personal profits by creating a stigma around working from home that induces people to physically commute to an office again?

Pedestrian May 9, 2021 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9274034)
. . . you aren't profiting as much from your urban residential real estate as you did when everyone was physically commuting into the Loop, and you think you can better increase your personal profits by creating a stigma around working from home that induces people to physically commute to an office again?

We are all (well, mostly) urbanists here--fans of a lively urban environment. I assume you are too. And the thing is that if only a minority of workers do return to be working in downtown offices on any given day, it's really going to detract from the vibrancy of the city environment. Economically, it has already (I hope temporarily) pushed the San Francisco commercial vacancy rate higher than I've ever seen it:

Quote:

Office Vacancy Rate Continues to Climb in San Francisco
April 16, 2021

In addition to 7.87 million square feet of un-leased office space now spread across the city of San Francisco, which is up from 6.7 million square feet of un-leased space just three months ago, there is now another 7.99 million square feet of office space which has been leased but is sitting vacant and being offered for sublet, which is up from 7.2 million square feet of sublettable space at the end of last year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

As such, there is now 15.85 million square feet of vacant office space spread across the city for an overall vacancy rate of 18.7 percent, which is up from a vacancy rate of 16.7 percent three months ago and versus a vacancy rate of 6.0 percent at the same time last year. And that’s not including another 1.3 million square feet of space that’s either under construction or in the process of being renovated.

At the same time, while leasing activity has inched up from a 30-year low at the end of 2020, only 433,000 square feet of space was leased in the first quarter of 2021. And that’s versus 1.1 million square feet leased in the first quarter of last year, a long-term average of around 1.6 million square feet per quarter and a post DotCom-era low of 933,000 square feet leased in the second quarter of 2001.

And while landlords had held firm through the second quarter of last year, the average asking rents for office space in San Francisco has now dropped 12 percent to $73.76 per square foot, per year, which is back to mid-2018 pricing when the vacancy rate was running closer to 7 percent, which suggests there’s quite a bit further to drop.

https://socketsite.com/wp-content/up...ncy-Q12021.png
https://socketsite.com/archives/2021...n-s-f-now.html

Fewer people working downtown also means the need for fewer lunch places and fewer after-work "watering holes" (at one point, there were places in SF that greatly resembled the picture somebody posted of the London after-work "pub scene") and ultimately could negatively impact things like bars and clubs, and even the Symphony and Opera etc because I believe some of the audience is people who work downtown and stick around in the city to attend performances after work.

If it happens, it's just bad news all around for city life. But I'm a "cock-eyed optimist" and, as I've said, I think while we may well enter a hybrid model where a significant number of employees are allowed to work at home several days a week, many will gradually drift back to the office and there will be (perhaps unintended) incentives to do so.

Pedestrian May 9, 2021 12:41 AM

Meanwhile, are we seeing the beginning of the revival?

Quote:

New deal alert: Unicorn startup signs sizable lease at S.F.'s Phelan Building
By Laura Waxmann – Staff Reporter, San Francisco Business Times
May 7, 2021 Updated 6 hours ago

Design software unicorn Figma is growing its presence in San Francisco — settling into a much larger space on Market Street that formerly housed recent Oakland transplant Credit Karma, according to sources familiar with the deal.

A spokesperson for Figma confirmed Thursday that the company has signed a lease for 100,000 square feet at 760 Market St., the 11-story, triangular Phelan Building near Union Square owned by the Hotung family, but would not confirm whether the space was previously occupied by Credit Karma. The new lease was brokered by JLL.

According to sources, the contract begins as a sublease that will eventually turn into a direct lease. Credit Karma, said to be the sub-landlord, closed its San Francisco office in the thick of the pandemic in June with no plans of returning — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced in December that the personal finance company would relocate its headquarters into 160,000 square feet at a new Oakland tower at 1100 Broadway, near the 12th Street BART station. The company did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday.

Figma’s new office is much larger than the space it previously occupied at 116 New Montgomery St. — roughly 18,000 square feet, according to Costar . . . .
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranc...-sf-lease.html

They won't need 100,000 square feet for the CEO to put his feet up and manage a work force that's at home or in Lake Tahoe.

And then:

Quote:

Salesforce sketches out reopening plans for its San Francisco HQ
By Jim Gardner – Managing Editor, San Francisco Business Times
May 6, 2021, 8:05pm EDT

Salesforce will begin to reopen its San Francisco headquarters May 17, company officials said this week.

CEO Marc Benioff tweeted out that reopening date on Wednesday, and on Thursday Linda Aiello, executive vice president for employee success, provided additional details while speaking at the San Francisco Business Times/Silicon Valley Business Journal "Best Places to Work" event.

The first employees to return in San Francisco will be those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have volunteered to come back to the office, she said.

Future phases will include other vaccinated employees and eventually those without vaccinations as well. No dates have been set for the future phases, Aiello said, while noting that the company is encouraging all employees to get vaccinated against Covid.

"It can go quite quickly if the data keeps moving in the right direction," she said on the day that San Francisco entered the yellow tier, the most lenient of the state's four Covid classifications. The state has said it plans to retire the tier system and its reopening restrictions by June 15, though local officials will have authority to limit some activities at their discretion

The headquarters will be the first of its U.S. offices to reopen, although more than 20 of Salesforce's offices elsewhere in the world have already reopened, some within 2020.

All Salesforce employees will retain the option of working fully remotely until the end of 2021, Aiello said. The company said earlier this year that going forward, most of its global workforce of more than 50,000 will be working remotely several days a week as the tech giant wrestles with its expansive worldwide real estate portfolio.
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranc...san-franc.html

Salesforce has a massive amount of space in downtown SF. Depending on how many of its employees constitute "most of" them, I can certainly see them giving up one or maybe both of the 2 other buildings they own (one building) or lease (one building) at the corner of Mission & Fremont, and we know the lease of even more space they once contemplated in the Oceanwide project is off the table. But my guess is that they will continue, with some spacial modification, to fill up their eponymous tower.

the urban politician May 9, 2021 1:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian
We are all (well, mostly) urbanists here--fans of a lively urban environment. I assume you are too. And the thing is that if only a minority of workers do return to be working in downtown offices on any given day, it's really going to detract from the vibrancy of the city environment. Economically, it has already (I hope temporarily) pushed the San Francisco commercial vacancy rate higher than I've ever seen it:

This is correct. I think there is always a need for the more cynical types out there to say that people are motivated by selfish interests....well, duh. Of course we all are to some degree.

But this is SkyscraperPage, NOT Suburbansubdivisiondream.com last time I checked.

Our greatest cities thrive, and must be fed by, human concentration. Transit, density, etc is an absolute vital component to continue to have what this forum seems to celebrate. So yes, for many reasons we should want employees to be returning downtown, in addition to tourists, etc.

iheartthed May 9, 2021 3:33 PM

Study suggests that COVID fatalities are significantly undercounted both globally and in the U.S.:

Quote:

New Study Estimates More Than 900,000 People Have Died Of COVID-19 In U.S.

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

The analysis comes from researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who looked at excess mortality from March 2020 through May 3, 2021, compared it with what would be expected in a typical nonpandemic year, then adjusted those figures to account for a handful of other pandemic-related factors.

The final count only estimates deaths "caused directly by the SARS-CoV-2 virus," according to the study's authors. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers estimated dramatic undercounts in countries such as India, Mexico and Russia, where they said the official death counts are some 400,000 too low in each country. In some countries — including Japan, Egypt and several Central Asian nations — the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's death toll estimate is more than 10 times higher than reported totals.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronav...ovid-19-in-u-s

10023 May 9, 2021 4:11 PM

^ These guys are an outlier, but of course their study will be highlighted by a certain faction.

iheartthed May 9, 2021 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 9274375)
^ These guys are an outlier, but of course their study will be highlighted by a certain faction.

Every serious person believes that the death toll is being significantly undercounted. It's pretty obvious that it's happening when you consider how much the total death count has increase year-over-year, and how much that varies from the COVID death count.

TWAK May 9, 2021 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 9273918)
The office vacancy rate in San Francisco is the highest I can recall ever (40 years) because of companies trying to sublease what they now consider unneeded office space due to employees working at home. Whether they can actually sublease it successfully is another matter but they are trying and will save money if it works out for them.

If it became an actual problem they should look at converting units, since we already have a housing shortage...plus that would be tight to live in Salesforce Tower.

Quote:

So yeah, the company will save money multiple ways and you may well be making less. For real city-lovers, it could be a double whammy: Losing the fun of big city life (which has admittedly been nowhere to be found during COVID but will be back) and making less money (albeit probably needing less).
Yeah I don't see SF magically becoming this place nobody visits when things open :haha:, and I doubt the views or food got worse. What I worry about is how exactly do e-workers (or whatever) pay taxes if they are hired from out of state? The state just had a surplus.


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