Rising Tech Firm to Feel @Home in Redwood City

  • San Francisco Business Times
  • October 21, 1996
  • Adam Feuerstein

Double-digit growth at @Home Corp. has forced it to find a new home: a 500,000-square-foot headquarters campus in Redwood City.

The Mountain View-based provider of high-speed Internet access via cable TV modems is concluding talks with the Martin Group to lease land and existing office space at the Mid-Point Technology Park in downtown Redwood City. @Home has doubled its work force to 130 people over the last several months and is preparing for more growth as its Internet access services are launched on cable systems across the country.

Company executives would not comment on its real estate plans, but the new campus is believed to include the following:

  • The immediate lease of an existing 133,500-square-foot building, located at 425 Broadway. @Home will occupy the entire building in a 10-year deal valued at around $27 million.
  • The lease of another 55,000-square-foot building, with occupancy scheduled for January 1998.
  • The construction of three new buildings on 16 acres of land, providing more than 300,000 square feet of additional office space.

The Martin Group, owner of Mid-Point Technology Park, will act as developer for @Home's new facilities. The company is apparently so confident of its need for a large campus that it is paying The Martin Group to take the 16-acre development site off the market, even though construction will not begin there for several years.

BT Commercial's Burlingame office handles leasing duties for Mid-Point Technology Park. Brokers there wouldn't comment, citing confidentiality agreements.

Formed in 1995, @Home offers access to the Internet and the World Wide Web over existing cable lines at speeds hundreds of times faster than is possible with regular telephone modems. The private company is partly owned by Tele-Communications Inc., which is offering the @Home Network to about 17,500 homes in Fremont and a similar number in Sunnyvale, the only Bay Area communities where the service is now available.

The @Home Network enters a home on a cable channel, allowing customers to use the service on their computer while someone else watches television. Because cable lines are always on, users do not have to log onto the Internet each time they want to surf the Web. In addition to instant access to the Web, @Home has signed up more than 60 Internet content providers to create custom content for the new service, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Discovery Channel Online and the New York Times.

@Home is headed by Chairman and CEO Tom Jermoluk, a former Silicon Graphics executive, and President Sean Doherty. In addition to TCI, investors include fellow cable giants Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Corp., as well as venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Together, the three cable companies control 45 percent of country's cable TV market, and they are already offering @Home in more than 50 communities in California, Connecticut and Maryland.

@Home joins Ampex Corp. and Excite Corp. as the three major tenants at the 46-acre Mid-Point Technology Park, which The Martin Group purchased earlier this year for $36 million.

When @Home signs its deal, expected within a week, the developer will only have another 128,000 square feet in three buildings available for lease.