SAN FRANCISCO-DSL provider NorthPoint Communications Group Inc. has put its 112,000-sf San Francisco headquarters on the sublease market and is looking at a possible consolidation of its four operations in Emeryville totaling 130,000 sf and employing 550 employees.

NorthPoint is paying $38 per sf for its 303 Second St. location in San Francisco, but has preleased 100,000 sf at Emeryville Station North for occupancy next spring. Real estate sources say the company is also markeitng that space for lease.

The moves follow the failure of an $800 million planned merger with Verizon Communications. Verizon exercised a clause in the merger agreement that allowed the company to pull out of the deal if NorthPoint’s business suffered adverse effects. NorthPoint’s stock had already plummeted from around $15 when the deal was announced last summer to approximately $2.50. But when NorthPoint revised its third-quarter results to show a bigger-than-expected ($90 million-plus) loss, Verizon terminated the deal and NorthPoint’s stock sank to less than a dollar. NorthPoint has filed a suit against Verizon for more than $1 billion contending that there was no factual or legal basis for the termination.

NorthPoint’s consolidation comes on the heels of a study released by Whitney Cressman Ltd last week. The study shows about 2.3 million sf of sublease space has become available in the last three months. Approximately 66% or 872,616 sf of the space is technology and “new economy” related and located in the South of Market area.Whitney Cressman predicts a vacancy rate of 1.2% in the city by year’s end and 5.9% by the end of first-quarter 2001.

NorthPoint is not the only company exercising its options to move. E-Groups, iXL Enterprises and Sectorbase have unloaded 126,540 sf, 105,000 sf and 77,000 sf, respectively. Alas, analysts at Whitney Cressman are not concerned, saying that the sublease space will not crash the market, but instead, bring relief to an overheated real estate market.

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