DOWNTOWN ‚Äî A Santa Monica-based technology company specializing in digital currency has outgrown the nursery.
GoCoin, a payment processing site like Paypal that deals exclusively in Bitcoins and Litecoins, recently took over the third floor of the landmarked Keller Block building at the corner of the Third Street Promenade and Broadway as it prepares to expand operations. As more businesses begin accepting peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, the need for secure processing of payments has grown.
The move was facilitated by commercial real estate firm Avison Young, an emerging player in the creative office space market in Santa Monica, which has earned the moniker Silicon Beach for its collection of tech startups. The firm represented GoCoin and the landlord in the transaction, which includes a multi-year lease for 7,000 square feet with an option to expand if space becomes available.
The Keller Block building is a registered historic landmark. It has 22,500 square feet and was built in 1893. It is a regional interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style. The building is now fully leased with tenants like greeting card company Papyrus, Big Blue Bus, Caf√© Crepe and a cigar shop.
Avison Young Principal Randy Starr, based in the company‚Äôs Santa Monica office, said GoCoin moved from the Real Office Centers ‚Äî ROC Santa Monica location, a collaborative workspace for startup companies that occupies the former Google offices on Arizona Avenue.
Representatives from ROC and GoCoin could not be reached for comment.
“This was a strategic move to the heart of Silicon Beach in terms of location and recruiting new talent to the company,” Starr said. “The challenge in finding a space for GoCoin was to identify a property that was as turn-key as possible so that the tenant wouldn‚Äôt have to go through the typical tenant-improvement construction process. I was able to negotiate a below-market deal for the tenant, while saving the landlord capital in regard to construction dollars.”
Star said the average rate for creative office space in Downtown is $4.50 a square foot. While he would not say how much GoCoin is paying, he said the base rent was closer to the $3 range.
The Keller Block building has surrounding operable windows over the Third Street Promenade and Broadway and has a history of attracting creative firms. The property also provides easy access to the Santa Monica 10 Freeway and the neighboring communities of Pacific Palisades, Venice and Malibu.
News that a startup is staying in Santa Monica is welcomed after other tech companies have moved south and east in search of larger, more affordable offices.