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Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the moving-to-better-quarters-on-campus dept.
cartechboy writes Remember four years ago when Tesla's new headquarters in Palo Alto, California seemed like a big risk? Yeah, time flies and now the Silicon Valley startup is already running out of room. Apparently the electric-car maker is already looking for 200,000-300,000 square feet of office space in the lower Peninsula market. Part of the motivation is that the company would like to have employees closer to its Fremont factory, which is 20 miles from its current headquarters. With heavy traffic that journey can take up to an hour or more. While not looking to relocate its headquarters, Tesla's simply looking to expand its space. Meanwhile, we all eagerly await to hear if the Gigafactory will indeed end up being built in Nevada.
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Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

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  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Monday August 04, 2014 @02:48PM (#47602037)

    Plenty of office space there. Plenty of *any* space, really.

    • by PackMan97 (244419) on Monday August 04, 2014 @02:52PM (#47602051) Homepage

      Checking out Detroit is definitely on my bucket list. However, I have conveniently put it as the last item just in case it's the last thing I do.

      Tesla is trying to be a disruptive force in the auto market, they aren't going to do that by locating in Detroit. Too many "old car" thinkers.

      • Re:Check out Detroit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by NotDrWho (3543773) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:10PM (#47602223)

        Tesla is trying to be a disruptive force in the auto market, they aren't going to do that by locating in Detroit. Too many "old car" thinkers.

        Offer them a job and they'll think any way you want them to. And I imagine some of those old car thinkers bring some old-school practical experience with them too, particularly useful when it comes to competing with establishment titans like Ford, GM, etc. (with their dirty tricks [washingtonpost.com]).

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Offer them a job and they'll think any way you want them to.

          Not really. Watch Top Gear on Saab [topgear.com] for a hilarious automotive counterexample, leading to the demise of one of the world's best-loved automakers. Well, by the tiny handful of people who bought their cars, anyhow :)

      • by haeck (2615953)
        Any industry can change - How much worse could it get in Detroit before folks start realizing they need a new approach?
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      plenty of job seekers too....but then the "gigafactory" would have to be run and secured like a prison. maybe not a stupid idea though

      • by haruchai (17472)

        The Gigafactory would have to be built somewhere with good solar & wind resources so if you want to combine that with prison expertise, the best option would be Arizona and Tesla can hire Sheriff Joe.

        • by rubycodez (864176)

          No, it does not need to be supplied with either solar or wind power. Michigan has nuclear power. The batteries don't care from where the factories electricity comes

          • by haruchai (17472)

            "Has nuclear power stations" - true, but how did you miss that it's 60% coal-fired electricity, double the nuke %age output?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

            The batteries don't care but Elon does. You do know he's involved in Solar City (rumored to be the largest single shareholder) and they just bought Silevo?
            I suspect he's going to be one of his own big customers.

            • by rubycodez (864176)

              Your're confused, the totals for a state have nothing to do with the percentage of electricity produced by nuclear power, were the gigafactory located say ten miles from Palisades

              • by haruchai (17472)

                ??What?? Exactly how is Michigan keeping the nuclear electrons separate from the dirty coal electrons?
                It's a grid so power is shunted from producer to consumer as required and I'm sure that Michigan, like pretty much everyone else, operates nuclear as near-constant baseload.
                Aside from the convenience of having the Gigafactory close to Fremont, building it in the southwest gives Tesla the opportunity to provide some of their own power using wind & solar and perhaps even sell to the grid and earn rebates

                • by rubycodez (864176)

                  what happens when parts of the grid are shut down or disconnected?

                  • by haruchai (17472)

                    Isn't that called a blackout? If it's in the daytime, Tesla would have a better chance keeping the lights on with the up to 3500 sunshine hours you can get in CA.
                    Michigan has wind power & perhaps Tesla could get permission for their own farm but Elon doesn't have any fingers in wind like he does in solar and there's no way in hell Michigan can compete on that basis vs the Southwest.
                    Palisades may have been granted a license to keep operating until 2031 but it's already 40 years old - it's going to need s

          • It needs reliable power and good transportation links.

            Batteries may not care about where the electricity comes from but the factory itself needs to be close to either the raw materials or the point of consumption.

            • by rubycodez (864176)

              In these United States we have these things called railways, ports and interstate highways; whereby a factory does NOT need to be located either near raw materials nor point of consumption. There are many factories in the very major US city I live near, and they receive materials and ship product globally

      • by lgw (121541)

        Sure, maybe the Gigafactory could be built on the ruins of Detroit suburbs - that's cheap land. You need a place for all the workers to live safely - let's call it "New Detroit", bringing many jobs. And you'd need new ideas about security. Being a Musk project, we'd have some sort of robotic security - some sort of "robo-cop", so to speak, to guard New Detroit. Maybe you could make a movie about this novel idea!

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          'New Detroit', eh? You know what would be a great addition to this town? Automated policing. Yeah, robots. What could go wrong?

          • by rubycodez (864176)

            bunches of gang bangers and looters getting shot into hamburger? I'm not seeing downside.

            • by gmhowell (26755)

              bunches of gang bangers and looters getting shot into hamburger? I'm not seeing downside.

              I'll buy that for a dollar.

      • Given the quality control issues inherent in packing up this kind of "stuff", the only humans in the loop are likely to be pushing a couple of buttons at eech end of the shift.

        The only way it can be economic is to be heavily automated. Expecting it to be a jobs lifeline is "rather optimistic"

        Alvin Toffler's age of technocrats is a bit late, but it's looming large now.

    • by wiggles (30088)

      Maybe not Detroit, but definitely not in Northern California - it's way too expensive to do business there. For an R&D/Skunkworks style office, perhaps drawing on the local talent is worth the cost, but putting general office workers and blue collar labor there is silly when you have nice states like Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Michigan which have friendly labor laws and cheaper labor pools, along with some top minds in places like Austin, Huntsville, Raleigh, and Ann Arbor.

      • Re:Check out Detroit (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:03PM (#47602171) Journal
        Yeah, these places have laws friendlier to the employers than the employees. So all the employees with skills in demand have moved to places where they can name their prices. People left behind in those places are usually low skilled. When things like fracking or oil well drilling requires skilled labor they get imported from other places at premium prices. I know quite a few oil rig/fracking rig operators living in places like Naperville Il, and work on 4 weeks on 2 weeks off rotations.

        Free market is a bitch. You skew the laws favoring employers, employees with skills leave, creating a vicious cycle.

        • by ranton (36917)

          Yeah, these places have laws friendlier to the employers than the employees. So all the employees with skills in demand have moved to places where they can name their prices. People left behind in those places are usually low skilled. When things like fracking or oil well drilling requires skilled labor they get imported from other places at premium prices. I know quite a few oil rig/fracking rig operators living in places like Naperville Il, and work on 4 weeks on 2 weeks off rotations.

          Free market is a bitch. You skew the laws favoring employers, employees with skills leave, creating a vicious cycle.

          That is why they said: "for an R&D/Skunkworks style office, drawing on local talent is worth the cost". But for tasks where you primarily need competent people, not necessarily the best of the best, these states are often great choices. While each state he mentioned has areas where the education is too low for just about any high tech work, place like Austin are more than sufficient for most employee needs.

          • by wiggles (30088)

            >education is too low for just about any high tech work

            Really? Places like Huntsville (NASA), Ann Arbor (U. Michigan), Raleigh (IBM), and Austin (Everybody these days) don't have top talent for tech work?

            • by ranton (36917)

              >education is too low for just about any high tech work

              Really? Places like Huntsville (NASA), Ann Arbor (U. Michigan), Raleigh (IBM), and Austin (Everybody these days) don't have top talent for tech work?

              You should go back and read my post to realize I was reinforcing the idea that places such as Austin have more than enough talent for most employer needs. You took one line where I conceded that large parts of each of these states has very low education levels, and read it completely out of context. This level of reading comprehension is exactly what makes employers nervous about hiring in states with poor educational achievement levels.

      • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:44PM (#47602431) Homepage Journal

        " Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Michigan which have friendly labor laws and cheaper labor pools..."

        You overlook the fact that those places are in Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Michigan.

      • Maybe not Detroit, but definitely not in Northern California - it's way too expensive to do business there. For an R&D/Skunkworks style office, perhaps drawing on the local talent is worth the cost, but putting general office workers and blue collar labor there is silly when you have nice states like Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Michigan which have friendly labor laws and cheaper labor pools, along with some top minds in places like Austin, Huntsville, Raleigh, and Ann Arbor.

        Those states are good for both high tech talent and manufacturing skills. They have a lower cost of living, other than Michigan. Plenty of companies are being successful in those locations. Northern California is great if you like a lot of workforce turnover.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Maybe not Detroit, but definitely not in Northern California - it's way too expensive to do business there

        It's only insanely expensive near the major cities. Go two hours out, stay away from the coast, and cost of living isn't too much worse than Bumfuck, Texas. Certainly low enough to keep lots of people happy with minimum wage, and still be close enough to the pool of highly skilled people who want to live in someplace that's nothing like Michigan...

        California has tons of huge warehouse facilities that

        • Sorry, but this is not true. The main reason California has those warehouses is location, location, location. It is more expensive to do business in California than anywhere, but is required because Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two busiest port complexes in the US and the Panama Canal currrently can't support the ships that call the west coast. We get most of our imports from the Pacific in bulk shipments, then a lot of companies will warehouse them and create more localized loads for inland transp

      • by jafac (1449)

        I'd really be more concerned about infrastructure. When you're mass-producing something like automobiles, you need good access to either a world-class seaport (which SF bay area IS), and/or rail network center (which noplace west of the rockies really does well, and probably LA does best). You need to be able to bring in lots of raw materials from diverse places, and ship your product out. For most purposes, even with the port of SF, SF is a terrible location.

        This is why internet startups were able to th

    • by haruchai (17472)

      If you're going to consider Detroit, you might as well relocate to southern Ontario. Long history of auto manufacturing & the people are civilized.

      • And probably plenty of import duties when trying to get the finished product into the target market. And ineligibility for purchase of fleets by organizations subject to the Buy American Act [wikipedia.org]. Or does NAFTA make Canada "American" for this purpose?
        • by haruchai (17472)

          This is about office space not factory floor so import duties & NAFTA don't apply.
          But even if Tesla were to start assembling cars in Ontario, I don't see what would be any different between their vehicles and the many millions of cars the Big Six have produced there over many decades.
          As a single jurisdiction, Southern Ontario is the NorthAm's largest producer of automobiles

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

    • by geekoid (135745)

      If you can locate anywhere in the country, why the hell would anyone choose detroit?
      The weather is awful, crime is high, 10's of thousands of people have been stripped of their right to representation
      The republicans are doing there best to make OCP proud.

      • The democrats are responsible for the shape of Detroit. It's laughable that you try to blame the republicans for that mess.

    • Just don't do any deal with OCP.

      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        Isn't that the company that built those E.D. 350 combat robots that killed all those villagers in Iraq?

  • It'd probably be cheaper and smarter to just pay for your company and employees to move to Southern California, have better access to several major interstate corridors, better choices of location, better prices, and more.

    Sitting in the Bay Area, when you are a Vehicle company, is a bad idea. You want more access to major traffic corridors to make it easier to get to you. Plenty of that in SoCal, not much of that in the Bay Area. You've only got the 101/5. Here we've got 101/5/15/10.

    • At this rate you guys are going to be out of water forever. Unless Tesla invest a rain-making machine.
      • by Khyber (864651)

        "At this rate you guys are going to be out of water forever."

        Uhh, this is a pretty typical cyclical drought that happens for three or four years, then goes away fr another 15-20, then returns.

    • Are you kidding or clueless?

      S Cal is a shit-hole, smells like Bakersfield.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        Yea, maybe your area of SoCal, far east of the valley area, stinks like Bakersfield. But us sitting pretty here in Riverside, the only time we get a bad stench is when it rains.

        Plus we get more sun so that'll boost Tesla's solar storage plans, and maybe also give him incentive to invest in Wind, as well.

        Oh, and the Bay area is just as much of a shit hole. Assholes are assholes anywhere you go.

  • funny since I noticed there's a new development (700k sqft) off Dixon Landing slated as "manufacturing/warehouse" which is two freeway exits from their Fremont plant.

    Alternatively, there's a parcel of land across the street from the plant as well.

  • ... I think such a large office space needs some sort of transport for people to go from one end to another. Should not be emitting gases and ideally be very silent. Wonder who has the know-how to conjure up such a vehicle ;-)
    • by ksheff (2406)
      Are they using all of the space in Fremont? If not, why not move some of these functions to that location?
  • The Gigafactory should be located in Low Earth Orbit with a polar orbit path. Limitless power from the sun andraw material provided by captured asteroid.
    Delivery will be by Virgin Galactic.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      This is Tesla we're talking about. Delivery would be by SpaceX.

    • Low Earth Orbit with a polar orbit path. Limitless power from the sun

      Well, limitless for the twelve hours per day the sun is visible to a station in LEO.

      No, polar orbit doesn't give you 24-hour a day sunlight. It just makes for lots of delta-V to reach orbit.

      • It can stay in sunlight if the axis of the orbit is pointed at the sun. I'm not sure what it would take to maintain such an orientation year round though.
  • The Dumbarton (the closest route from PA) jams up. 237/880 (The route from further South on Peninsula and the South Bay) is a parking lot. It is simply not possible for a single location to be an easy drive from both Palo Alto and Fremont. If Tesla wants their employees meaningfully closer to the factory, they are going to have to put them on the factory's side of the Bay. I.e., Fremont or Union City.

    • I've heard that real estate in Fremont is as horrific as downtown San Fran. A friend's parents sold a house they had pay $200K for back in the 90s for about two million in 2006. (They retired to Livermore off the proceeds.)
      • by CQDX (2720013)

        Real estate in Fremont is expensive but more *affordable* housing can be had in the nearby communities of Milpitas and Newark. In any case, Fremont is much, much cheaper than Palo Alto and surrounding communities (I'm leaving East PA out of that consideration).

  • That is definetly not the environment attract the proper staff to build sports cars in.

  • I was worried that I'd miss my daily dose of Musk.

  • by CQDX (2720013) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:18PM (#47602265)

    Just north of the Fremont plant is undeveloped land that is right next to the new BART station. They could build there allowing employees to take mass transit and also be within walking distance of the factory. If they out grow the space, or hit lean times, they should be able to rent the space at a premium since it is next to the station.

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      Am I the only one who finds irony in suggesting that the employees of an auto manufacturer take the train to work?

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:41PM (#47602411) Journal

    Tesla might want to take a page from Henry Ford's book, from back when He was the cutting edge of high tek:

    Ford, to this day, has most of its office space in, or typically as a layer on the outer surface of, its factories, laboratories, etc. Walk down the hall and every few hundred feet you can make a right turn, go through a door, and be on the factory floor or a balcony around it with a handy stairway to it.

    Generally the best way to the cafeteria is usually across the floor, as is the best way to more offices than not. (Indeed, the cafeteria may be in the CENTER of the plant, making it equally convenient to all but more convenient to the workers, and making a trip through the factory mandatory for white-collars who want to do lunch.)

    Henry wanted the engineers and executives to be connected to the nitty-gritty of the business, and thought that keeping it visible, several times a day, would help improve communication and focus.

    There's a story about the River Rouge plant - Henry's dream manufacturing complex, designed to eat iron ore and spit cars: Seems that the managers built an office building in the middle of it, and when it was done, showed it to Henry. After the tour he asked them "How many cars are built here?" When they answered "none", he asked "What parts are built here?" Again the answer was "none". So he had it torn down. B-)

    (Cadillac Motor Car did the same sort of thing, at least through the '70s: The offices were across the street from the main assembly plant, but there was an enclosed bridge between them and you actually had to walk across the in-operation assembly line (on the second floor, near the "body drop") to get to the cafeteria / lunch room.)

    It may seem strange to give Tesla suggestions from the Detroit auto industry. But IMHO this is something that they got very right. You'll notice my examples were Ford and Cadillac:

    The Ford family took the company back from the Pointy Haired Business School Grads a few decades back, turning it around {and undoing the McCarthy Era communication stoppage between the white and blue collars that trashed the US auto industry while Japan built their industry on Demming}. Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford didn't need a bailout. It was out-competing Japanese auto companie on quality, reliability, safety, and price-performance.

    Cadillac, through long since merged into GM, was given a hands-off treatment for decades, because it made cars to exceptionally high quality and comfort standards.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford didn't need a bailout. It was out-competing Japanese auto companie on quality, reliability, safety, and price-performance.

      Bull. Ford happened to have a few months more of a cash reserve than GM. That's it. GM's cars are every bit as good as Ford's.

      Ford has about HALF the output of GM, VW and Toyota, so claiming Ford is better all-around, is also matter of denying that capitalism works AT ALL.

      • by hendrips (2722525)

        If we're talking about capitalism, GM and Chrysler "should" have exactly 0% market share, as without an $85 billion bailout [wikipedia.org] and very favorable Chapter 11 bankrupty treatment, those companies would not exist at all. It's pretty easy to gain market share when you borrow lots of money without having to pay back a big chunk of it.

        It's a bit hard to say that GM's cars are as good as Ford's or anyone else's based on sales, because of the explicit government manipulation of the auto market. Certainly in my anec

        • by evilviper (135110)

          It's a bit hard to say that GM's cars are as good as Ford's or anyone else's based on sales, because of the explicit government manipulation of the auto market

          If that's your stumbling block, just back just a few years before the bailout, and what I said still holds true.

          Certainly in my anecdotal experience GM cars have been slightly but perceptibly lower quality,

          I'd say the reverse.

          and I think a lot of people who are currently getting new ignition switches would agree with me.

          That's just the fad scare story

  • That plus the industrial cost of electricity here is something like 1/20th that of gasoline and it's Green Electricity, baby, Green!

  • Come to Atlanta!

    There is a Defunct GM plant on the outskirts of 285!
    Located in Doraville.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

  • Water is the life blood of the universe.

    He who controls the water, controls everything!

    Move to Seattle. Our energy is cheaper, greener, and the water flows!

  • My office is in the Warm Springs district of Fremont less than 1KM from the Tesla plant. I can't step outside without a Tesla fresh from the factory or a demo rolling over my toes.

    There is a huge amount of empty real estate around here. The main Solyndra building got purchased by Seagate, but they occupied several other buildings which are still empty. Including the Solyndra HQ which was visited by Obama for a photo op. It used to be the HMT building, then MMC, then Solyndra bought it and completely r

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