Back in 2015, San Francisco-based Lift Partners took a gamble when they bought the downtown San Jose building located at 70 N. Second Street.
Its exterior needed a facelift, with a dated façade and an interior in need of new design. Outside, the team tore off the existing red tile and ripped out the glass blocks to replace them with large glass windows adding a modern flair and more natural lighting inside.
The three-level interior features new wood floors, updated fixtures, a more open-concept design and wooden beams to make for a more appealing space for a tech company. The gamble paid off after the pair fully leased the space to project management startup Wrike earlier this year. The deal has added to the growing diversity of tech companies in downtown San Jose and has been used as an example of downtown’s growing potential.
70 N. 2nd Street
Location: 70 N. Second St., San Jose
Size: 24,000 square feet
Cost: $7 million
Start date: May 2015
Completion date: June 2017
Background: The building, located on a light rail transit line and originally built in 1953, had a dated façade, including red tile coating the exterior and old glass blocks. Before leasing the building to Wrike, the owners were negotiating with WeWork, which was considering using the space for a program providing space and tools for early-stage startups. Negotiations started in August 2015 but fell through after about 12 months. Instead, WeWork ended up leasing a 75,000-square-foot space next door in early 2016.
Amenities: Phone booths, wood beams, breakout meeting spaces, storage rooms and a new kitchen space.
Challenges: Leasing new spaces to tech companies in downtown San Jose was a challenge for building owners at the time the property was purchased in 2015. More recently, startups and larger companies like Adobe and Google have claimed real estate or expanded in downtown. Between 2014 and 2017, when Wrike’s lease was signed, 77 tech companies either signed or renewed leases in Downtown San Jose, Colliers International data shows.
Tenants: The building is fully leased to Wrike, which plans to add 40 new employees to its existing team of 70 in 2018. The company held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in April, which was officiated by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and City Councilmembers Raul Peralez and Johnny Khamis.
Tidbit: The real estate was originally purchased for $3.25 million in 2015 and sold for $10.8 million in 2018.