Foursquare will soon say goodbye to its longtime office mates at 36 Cooper Square, Betabeat has learned. The startup, which raised a $50 million round of funding over the summer, has vastly outgrown the 7,600 sq. ft. at the hip East Village digs it shares with Curbed and web design shop Hard Candy Shell, and is negotiating a sublease for the top two floors at 568 Broadway.
Nothing has been signed, but the deal has been in the works for more than two weeks and appears set to close soon. “We’re in the process of drafting the lease with Foursquare,” said Richard Pierpoint, real estate manager for Scholastic, which leases the space from the building’s owner.
It’s not easy to find office space to accommodate the needs of a fast-growing startup. Most young Silicon Alley companies are in fierce competition for talent, so location matters–startups want the usual proximity to transportation and reasonable prices, but also require a hip neighborhood and room to rapidly expand. “There’s very little in that size range, and creative loft-like space is hard to come by in general,” said one broker who works on similar deals.
Among startups, it would seem that 568 Broadway, a sunny elevator building at the confluence of eight subway lines, is in high demand. Another local tech rockstar, ZocDoc, which recently raised $75 million from Goldman Sachs and Facebook investor Digital Sky Technologies, occupies the teal-painted ninth floor of the building.
Foursquare was also up against another buzzy, fast-growing startup: Tumblr, which raised $85 million in September and was also interested in the space, said multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations, although the space ultimately went to Foursquare. “They’re not pursuing 568 Broadway now or in the future,” said a source familiar with the deal, of Tumblr. “Obviously, they’re in the market for a lot of space.”
The move also marks the end of an era at 36 Cooper, affectionately known as 36 Coop and considered a Silicon Alley fixture. The three-way arrangement between its three techie tenants was an early experiment in the coworking movement, in which shared offices such as General Assembly in Flatiron, WeWork Labs in Soho and Midtown, and Skillshare and Svpply in Soho, have become an increasingly popular office option for startups.
Foursquare, founded in 2009, has more than 70 employees in New York and is currently hiring for at least another 18. The company also recently opened a San Francisco office. The two floors at 568 Broadway will give the company a combined 56,000 sq. ft. The startup declined to comment.
Bonus trivia: 568 Broadway also houses Keith McNally’s off-site restaurant operations for Balthazar, Pastis, Schiller’s, Morandi and Minetta Tavern. There is also a Bliss Spa in the building as well as Dennis Leary’s production company, Apostle.