Transportation firm Uber Technologies is looking for someone to take over five floors of its office space in Deep Ellum. Uber, with its offer of an almost 116,000-square-foot sublease in the Epic office tower on Pacific Avenue, joins other Dallas-Fort Worth companies that are trying to fill surplus office space during the pandemic. Commercial property firm CBRE is marketing the space being offered by the ride-hailing firm on the eastern edge of downtown Dallas. “Due to the pandemic, we don’t expect to use all of our current floors between now and the completion of the permanent space in building II. We are currently exploring different uses for parts of our existing offices. We remain committed to our long term plan of expanding our presence in Dallas and are excited about our future in Texas,” Uber senior manager public affairs Chris Miller said in a statement. Uber opened its Dallas office in the Epic tower last year, taking more than 160,000 square feet. At the same time, it announced it was taking an even bigger space in another office tower under construction next door. Real estate information firm CoStar first reported that Uber is now seeking to sublease. The five floors of office space in the building at 2550 Pacific Avenue are available through mid-2023, according to CBRE. The Uber space for lease includes offices, conference facilities, training rooms and lounge areas on the ninth through 15th floors, according to CBRE’s marketing material. The move to sublease its Deep Ellum offices is the second change Uber has made this year for its planned Dallas regional operation. In the summer of 2019, the California-based transportation company said it would open a Dallas office with at least 3,000 workers. The planned Deep Ellum operation was to have been Uber’s largest hub outside of its San Francisco headquarters. In November, Uber and developers KDC and Westdale Real Estate broke ground on a 23-story, 470,000-square-foot office tower to house thousands of Uber workers starting in late 2022. The Epic office high-rise is still under construction. KDC officials said the building is still scheduled to open in 2022. But Uber said earlier this year that it was pausing hiring for the new Dallas operation because of the pandemic. Uber received a two-year extension on the economic incentives Dallas provided to support its planned office. The Uber Deep Ellum office sublease is the latest large block of surplus building space to hit the North Texas market since the COVID-19 pandemic. Only about 40% of office workers are currently back in their buildings, recent studies show, with most employees still at home because of the pandemic. Many office-based businesses have delayed expansion plans and slowed hiring. More than 5 million square feet of sublease office is currently up for grabs in North Texas. Earlier this year, Liberty Mutual Insurance put almost a half million square feet of its new Legacy West campus in Plano up for sublease. The Boston-based insurance company never occupied the seven floors of offices on the Dallas North Tollway. *by Steve Brown via Dallas News*

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