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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Suburban Office Markets and Regional Employment Growth: The San Francisco Bay Area's 680 Corridor

  • Author(s): Kroll, Cynthia
  • et al.

One of the major changes experienced in the pattern of urban development in the 1970s was the trend toward suburbanization of office space construction. In previous decades, suburbs played a narrower role as bedroom communities. By the 1960s, with the introduction of regional shopping centers, many retail activities had followed residents from the central city to suburban settings.

Office space decentralization in the 1970s is part of a third stage of suburban development-the larger trend towards the movement of jobs from central city to suburb-with manufacturing firms as well as office using firms looking for cheaper land, more space, and a nearby workforce outside of the central city. Before 1970, over four-fifths of speculative office space in the San Francisco SMSA was in San Francisco or Oakland. During the 1970s, 40% of new office space added to the SMSA went to suburbs outside of these central cities.

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