San Jose-based tech firm Wrike has inked a deal that would move the growing company out of its shiny corporate headquarters at 10 Almaden to a larger creative office space in San Jose’s downtown historic district at 70 N. Second St.
The project management application company’s board on Thursday approved the lease for about 24,000-square feet of space at 70 N. Second St. As of March 5, Wrike will move its existing 70 employees out of its 21,000-square-foot office at 10 Almaden Blvd., and into its new building, where the group is expected to grow by 30 or more employees in the next year. Wrike also employs 55 people at a growing office in San Diego.
The company was attracted to the building because of its proximity to the Mineta San Jose International Airport, the Diridon transit station and because it was reminiscent of buildings in San Francisco's SOMA District, Wrike spokesperson Brad Sanzenbacher said in an interview Friday.
"There just aren't that many of [those buildings] downtown," he said. "This space has that flexibility, it has a very creative vibe to it, and I know the property owners also gave us a lot of flexibility in customizing the space, by putting a gym in the basement, installing showers and things like that."
San Francisco-based Lift Partners, a growing force in the San Jose real estate market, and Palo Alto-based Blox Ventures own the building and has been looking to lease it since picking the property up in May of 2015. Since then, Lift and Blox have given the 1953 building a major overhaul.
The partnership ripped off the façade of the building shortly after buying it and installed a new glassy building face, and made the inside of the building market ready, said Chris Freise, a partner with Lift Partners.
“We redid everything,” he said in an interview Friday. “These guys have a bunch of phone booths, breakout meeting space, an open plan, bike/showers & gym space and a storage room for the scooters they use to zip around town.”
Though the building has stood vacant for years, interest had started to pick up leading to Wrike’s lease, he said.
“Two years ago, the building was a tough sell and I think people are starting to come around to the change that is happening all around them in downtown,” he said in an interview Friday.
Indeed, before Wrike leased the building, Freise said he had been in negotiations with WeWork to lease the building for use as a WeWork Labs space, a program focused on providing space and tools for early-stage startups. Those negotiations started in about August of 2015, but fizzled after about 9 months.
WeWork had also been in negotiations and ultimately signed in early 2016 a 75,000-square-foot lease next door at 75 E. Santa Clara. Freise said he didn’t believe that the lease WeWork was considering for his building fizzled because of the lease agreement nearby, and that the co-working company had initially been considering growing into both buildings.
He estimates that WeWork will continue to grow in San Jose, even if not in his now-fully leased building.
In the meantime, Wrike isn’t wasting any time to put the long-vacant site to use. Though the company won’t move in until March, it will host its holiday party in the building Friday night.
"It will be the first time a lot of people have seen the space, so that's something everybody is excited about," Sanzenbacher said. "And just having our own building with the Wrike logo on it – that's an exciting prospect. We've always been in office parks or high rises, so it's definitely a cool milestone."