The BART Board of Directors recently approved moving the transit agency's headquarters to another building in Oakland because the cost of leasing the current space is increasing and BART will save money in the long run by buying and renovating a different building now for nearly $230 million.
BART's current headquarters is at 300 Lakeside Drive, but its lease expires in July 2021 and the cost of leasing the 369,000 square feet of office space on 14 floors with a boardroom in a separate building is set to go up by 60%.
The BART board voted Sept. 12 to move the headquarters to 2150 Webster St. in the spring of 2021. Both the current and future headquarters are near the 19th Street BART Station in uptown Oakland.
BART Board President Bevan Dufty noted that the new building will have a ground-floor board room that is more accessible to the public, and the 244,000 square feet across 10 floors will "spur BART administrative staff to downsize their footprint."
The $142 million purchase of the building and $85 million in interior construction is being financed by a 25-year sales tax bond, and the agency says it will save at least $210 million over that 25-year period by purchasing the building rather than staying at the Lakeside Drive location.
BART has had its headquarters in the current location since 2003. It was forced to move to the leased space after the original headquarters building at the Lake Merritt station was deemed to be seismically unfit.