“Today is Snapchat’s first official day leasing the space,” Jim Abbott of Realty Advisor Group, who brokered the deal for the complex’s owner, told Business Insider.
Snapchat will be renovating the office buildings at the complex, called the Venice Connection and Studio Village. “They’re paying for some significant improvements that will raise the value of the property,” Abbott said.
The property owners have leased the space as a multitenant complex since 1973. According to Abbott, Snapchat had been negotiating the lease with the owners for nearly 10 months. Several other tech companies, including Uber, had also shown interest in the office space.
“There was some concern, since the property owners weren’t familiar with Snapchat,” he said. “But we really worked through the lease with them. Snapchat has been growing so much over the last 10 months that it helped to solidify them as a tenant, as a company that is keeping business in Venice.”
More than 30 smaller businesses already make their home there—including mobile advertising startup Briabe Mobile, drone and robotics company Ctrl.Me, design agency Clever Creative, and several law and insurance offices. Most tenants were on a month-to-month lease, all of which will likely be terminated by the end of the summer, Abbott said.
“We’re looking on the west side of L.A., maybe Marina del Rey. It’s going to be a struggle,” Briabe Mobile CEO James Briggs, whose company leases about 2,600 square feet in the complex, told Business Insider earlier this month. “There are not a lot of business complexes like this in Venice, and we’re completely priced out of what’s left. Venice is out of the question now.”
Snapchat declined to comment on its real estate negotiations. A spokesperson told Business Insider, “We love being in Venice and we strive to be great neighbors within the community where we live and work.”
Snapchat also leases several buildings on Market Street and at the Thornton Lofts on Ocean Front Walk. It’s unclear if the new office space will become Snapchat’s main headquarters, or if the company views the collection of Venice offices as a broader headquarters.