Posts for Tag: commercial real estate

Jack London Square heats up with expansion by Sungevity and fine dining from Daniel Patterson

Double dose of good news for Jack London Square today. First was that hot solar start-up Sungevity is leasing an additional 36,500 square feet in the mostly empty Jack London Market building. Sungevity is hoping to reach 400 employees by the end of the year which will give a great shot in the arm to the local economy. Even better was Sungevity CEO, Andrew Birch's commitment to growing in Jack London Square for the foreseeable future. The second piece of good news is that Daniel Patterson of COI fame has begun construction on his new restaurant Haven (also in the Jack London Market building). It's set to open in November of this year and will provide another great fine dining option alongside Bocanova and Ecuentro. Hopefully more businesses build/relocate/expand in the area and begin to realize that it's a great place to work and play.

Where my East Bay tech entrepreneurs be at?

I may be biased because I live here but I don't know why more tech entrepreneurs don't view Oakland as a viable place to build their start-ups. It's centrally located, close to public transportation, and real estate (both commercial and residential) is less expensive than the usual start-up hotspots of San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Not to mention the fact that a lot of folks who work at tech start-ups live in the East Bay and have long commutes. I've done the East Bay to SF/SV commute before and it used to take me 45-90 minutes one way each day to get to work. Compare that to my current 10-15 minute ROUNDTRIP commute and it's a no brainer. What could you do with an extra 2-3 hours every day? Over the course of a work year (about 250 days), that's almost a full month you've wasted on the road.

Granted, Oakland has its fair share of issues. The one that usually comes up is that Oakland is perceived to be a crime-ridden city. Sure, there's crime here but like any large city there are areas where crime is high and others where it is not. I don't propose you bring your tech start-up and plop it down on Seminary and International just like I wouldn't make the Tenderloin or Hunters Point my company HQ. My first company was in what's now known as the Uptown area of Oakland, home to such little known start-ups like Pandora. We currently reside in the Jack London Square area which recently brought in Sungevity, a solar start-up.

Getting to the point of this post, I'm trying to cobble together some tech start-ups who are looking for office space in the Jack London Square area. The building we're in is newly renovated and very well maintained. We occupy a small suite but are getting to the point where we are considering more space. Conveniently, there is a larger suite across the hall that's been decked to the halls with all the latest goodies (professional cubes, CAT 6 cabling, etc). Only catch is that it's huge and much larger than we can take at this time. My grand idea is to have an informal tech cluster sharing this space. A few start-ups working in close proximity to each other, sharing ideas, mingling, etc. Plus we would offer the flexibility that a standard lease would not have - month to month, taking more space, taking less space. So if anyone out there is interested, drop me a line. Even if you're not interested, drop me a line anyway. I'm always glad to meet new entrepreneurs and share ideas.