Anyone There? Tumbleweeds Blow Through Sand Hill Road

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but vacancies are up on Sand Hill Road for the first time since late 2005. So reports the WSJ in a smart look at the extent to which the recession is impacting the venture capital firms, as judged by the rental market along the famous 1.5-kilometer corridor that’s home to August Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Kleiner Perkins, among many other firms.

The piece ran yesterday, but in case you missed it, as I had, here are some illuminating data points:

• Rental activity apparently ground to a halt last year
• Rents on Sand Hill Road remain a strong $12.48 a square foot, up about 50 cents a square foot from what leasing offices could charge in 2007
• Vacancies at the end of 2008 were 6.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent at the end of 2007
• The amount of sublease space on Sand Hill Road grew sevenfold last year, the result of firms electing to downsize their office space — and their rent. (Brokers tell the Journal that sublease rents are typically 10 percent cheaper.)

The story, in its entirety, is here.