Office Space

San Francisco Landlords are Legit Busting Up Buildings in Order to Appeal to Startups

"You don't want to feel like you're working for the man."
 San Francisco Landlords are Legit Busting Up Buildings in Order to Appeal to Startups

(Photo: Brownstoner)

“This building would be great, but it just has too much…ceiling,” is a thing that some startup office seekers are apparently uttering in the trendier neighborhoods of San Francisco. The Wall Street Journal reports that landlords are straight up wrecking buildings to make them look “edgier,” “funky” and “fun.”

That means lots of exposed ceiling pipes, open floor plans and a kitchen stocked with organic juices and plastered with signs about the upcoming company-wide 5k. Also: a room for people to cry in, when your investors just don’t get it.

Writes the WSJ:

San Francisco landlords are finding a new way to attract desirable start-up tenants: tear up conventional-style office buildings to give them an edgier feel.

At 115 Sansome Street, once a headquarters of Standard Oil, new owner Harvest Properties removed the ceiling grid to reveal industrial orange pipes and sandblasted paint to expose the old copper finishes on windows. At 3180 18th Street, a former luggage factory, the building owner eliminated old ceilings, exposed original wood and created building signs that resemble the original ones.

“You don’t want to feel like you’re working for the man,” one HotelTonight executive admitted, presumably before cranking up the volume on his Phish CD and launching into a diatribe about how Burning Man really changed his outlook on life.

Still, consciously “roughing up” an office space to make it appear loft-like and trendy is like buying something at Urban Outfitters and calling it “vintage.” Truly cool kids like those at Kickstarter know it’s all about throwing money at gutted pencil factories.

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