SAN RAMON -- AT&T said Tuesday it intends to sell its mammoth regional office complex in San Ramon because the company's need for space in the building has dwindled.

"We plan to sell the building at 2600 Camino Ramon and lease back the space we'll need for continued occupancy," said Alexander Carey, AT&T spokesman.

The building, located in the Bishop Ranch business park, totals 1.8 million square feet -- larger than many major shopping centers. Sources familiar with AT&T's plans say the telecommunications giant will occupy about 900,000 square feet of that.

"Changes in the business and increased employee mobility" were the primary factors that drove AT&T's move to sell the building, Carey said.

Texas-based AT&T didn't disclose its plans or the amount of space it would lease from the new owner, once the building is officially sold. Sunset Development, the principal developer of Bishop Ranch, declined comment.

"This will not result in any of our employees losing their jobs," Carey said.

The building originally was occupied in 1983 by Pacific Bell, which subsequently moved its headquarters out of San Francisco to the San Ramon building in the mid-1980s. At that time, the move represented the nation's largest corporate relocation. After AT&T bought Pac Bell, the complex eventually became the West Coast headquarters for AT&T. Now, AT&T's general manager for Northern California and Nevada is based in the building.


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"AT&T has been shifting executive positions and other jobs to Texas from San Ramon," said Jeffrey Weil, a broker with commercial realty firm Colliers International. "The cost of doing business is lower in Texas than in California."

Over the years, AT&T has shaved its employee count in San Ramon, according to official notices the company has filed with state agencies. The most recent employee total for AT&T in San Ramon was listed at 8,500 workers, according to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance for Business.

"The operations based in the building run the gamut from engineering and technology, to public relations, public affairs, government relations," Carey said.

Despite the workforce shifts for AT&T, city officials pointed out that San Ramon has captured thousands of jobs in recent years at Bishop Ranch.

"We are replacing good jobs with good jobs," said Greg Rogers, San Ramon's city manager. "General Electric, PG&E, Robert Half, Bank of the West, have moved to Bishop Ranch. Kaiser is building a large medical facility right behind city hall."

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. twitter.com/georgeavalos