For the first time since 2013, Seattle has beat out the San Francisco Bay Area in terms of tech office space leases — becoming the nation’s leader in this niche. A report from CBRE identifies that the source of this jump in ranking was 14 megaleases accounting for a cumulative 3.4 million square feet of office space.

Although the report does not identify which specific companies comprise the megaleases, major local employers like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook have all made notable moves throughout 2020. In particular, Eastside real estate transactions in Bellevue and Kirkland can’t be overlooked in this regard.

Despite concerns about how remote work would impact the need of large employers to hold onto their office spaces, the tech industry leased more space in 2020 than any other industry, though their total leasing activity was less than in 2019.

Following Seattle in the rankings were Manhattan and Washington, D.C. in second and third place, respectively. The San Francisco Bay Area came in at number 6 in the nation. Overall, the rankings indicated an uptick in new transactions as companies expanded or relocated during the pandemic.

In a separate report, CBRE indicated that demand for Eastside office space is currently at about 1.25 million square feet. Amazon and Google have both expanded their Eastside leases with significant contracts in the last year, while Facebook acquired the unused REI headquarters in Bellevue for $367.6 million.

Microsoft is also expanding its Eastside presence by renovating its Redmond campus for increased capacity despite its new flexible work policies.

Although the pandemic has changed the locations from which employees work these days, it’s clear that many large tech companies are anticipating a return to normal at some point, as they gear up for increased in-person operations and get ready to entice workers back to the office with new and updated spaces.

This article was originally posted on GeekWire by Kurt Schlosser