E’ville Biz: WeWork Closing Emeryville Office; Zymergen Cutting 120 Jobs; Foundry31 Acquired by Oxford

Published On September 24, 2021 | By Rob Arias | Local Business, News & Commentary

A selection of Emeryville-relevant business stories published by the Bay Area’s preeminent business reporting source, The SF Business Times.

Zymergen, one of the largest Biotech employers in the East Bay with 600 employees, announced 120 layoffs yesterday. The move was framed as a cost-cutting measure after their first product failed to integrate with its customers manufacturing processes. In addition, co-founder Josh Hoffman stepped down from his role as CEO and will be replaced by boardmember and former Illumina Inc. CEO Jay Flatley.

In a story we neglected to cover, Oxford Properties Group acquired the Foundry31 property that borders Emeryville, Oakland & Berkeley. Oxford has gone on an acquisition “spree” in Emeryville by also acquiring the Public Market as well as The Bay Bridge Center.

WeWork announced it is closing its Emeryville Towers co-working space that it opened in 2019. They communicated the decision in an email to customers citing the need to “optimize our assets and operations around the world.” Customers were referred to the closet available properties in WeWork’s portfolio and not given the opportunity for a partial refund according to a customer that contacted us.

Synthetic biology company Zymergen to cut 120 jobs after 1st product falters

By Ron Leuty

Synthetic biology company Zymergen Inc. said it will cut about 120 jobs as part of the first round of cost-cutting after the Emeryville company’s first product failed to integrate with its customers manufacturing processes.

Zymergen (NASDAQ: ZY), which went public in April in a half-billion IPO, said it is conducting a “full assessment” of its target markets, but it said Thursday afternoon that the “preliminary phase” of its plan to reduce costs is to cut the 120 positions. Severance and employee-related restructuring spending will cost the company $4.5 million, it said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Read more on The SF Business Times (paywall may apply)


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WeWork to close Towers at Emeryville location

By Sarah Klearman

Coworking giant WeWork will close its Towers at Emeryville location at the end of this month, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.

Tenants of WeWork’s three floors at 1900 Powell St. must exit the building by Sept. 30, the spokesperson said. The Towers of Emeryville is a three-building office park owned by real estate investor KBS.

Read more on The SF Business Times (paywall may apply)


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Oxford Properties Continues Life Sciences Growth with $173 Million Acquisition of Foundry31 in Lab Conversion Opportunity

Oxford Properties Group (“Oxford”), a leading global real estate investor, asset manager and business builder today announced the acquisition of Foundry31 for $172.7 million. The 402,700 square foot mixed-use building is located in the Berkeley/Emeryville corridor of San Francisco’s East Bay with 100,000 square feet of the property identified to be converted into lab and life sciences space in the near term. The acquisition continues Oxford’s strategy of building a dedicated life sciences business and follows the recent acquisition of the nearby Public Market Emeryville, the purchase and conversion of Boren Lofts in Seattle and three assets acquired in the Greater Boston Area in early 2021.

Read their press release on OxfordProperties.com

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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