Josh Payne was in San Francisco for seven years, where office rents have been pushed to their highest level in ten years by a technology boom. When starting Internet firm StackSocial Inc, he headed south to the Venice area of Los Angeles.
Payne and his ten employees made the move two months ago, back in August, to a loft designed by Frank Gehry that has three-story high windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the parade of characters on the boardwalk, including Harry Perry, the roller skating electric guitar player. StackSocial has also succeeded in reducing relocation costs of by sharing the $9,000 per month rent and 3,000 square foot office with fellow startup Lettuce LLC, which is a producer of order management service.
“There’s no way that we would have landed this type of location for this money in San Francisco and the Bay area,” says Payne, the chief executive officer and founder of the one-year-old company that operates an online marketplace for gadgets and software. “It is difficult to get really cool, creative office space companies like ours are looking for at prices that are affordable.”
Office space is becoming pricier in Venice, which is part of the three-mile stretch of oceanfront communities called Silicon Beach, due to its popularity with tech companies. Rents are escalating much quicker than in the wider LA region, as startups begin to pour into the area and are competing for a narrowing supply of real estate.