Uber expands into Oakland, purchases former Sears building

Uber

 

OAKLAND (KRON) — Uber Technologies has purchased the former Sears building in downtown Oakland and plans to expand its headquarters there, according to the mayor’s office.

Uber, the controversial app-based ride booking service, is preparing to make a major expansion of their headquarters to Oakland with the purchase, according to Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office.

The iconic building at 19th Street and Broadway had operated as a department store since the 1920s until Sears closed last year. It was then purchased by real estate development firm Lane Partners.

The 370,000-square-foot building is currently being renovated and will feature a large food court in an open-air market downstairs and offices upstairs, according to the developers.

At times during its six-year history, Uber has created headaches for regulatory agencies including issues with drivers’ insurance, handicapped access and airport pickups. Taxi companies have maintained staunch opposition to the company, which provides an extremely similar service with far fewer regulatory restrictions.

The mayor’s office and Uber officials will hold a news conference in Oakland City Hall this afternoon to provide more details on the project.

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