With our lease coming up at the end of May, and the landlord looking for a 33% increase in rents, we sort of thought we’d be looking for new digs about now. Today, I toured several new potential locations for Human Computing’s new home, with decidedly mixed results.
The first place was described as “industrial loft/creative space” and the photo showed a long shot of a rather handsome brick building. It also pointed out that the offices were adjacent to Gordon Biersch’s headquarters, complete with a shot of their front door. Now, I’ve always had a soft spot for dotcom-era lofts decked out with lots of aluminum and glass and funky lighting, so I was actually sort of excited about checking the place out. After all, lofts are basically big open spaces that you can do almost anything with.
Unfortunately, the picture in the ad turned out to be of the building next door(!). The actual building for lease was marginal at best downstairs (lots of trading companies and a glass-blowing studio), but upstairs–a long climb with concrete steps–was a disaster. In the middle of a beautiful San Jose spring day, it was dark inside, with a flickering flourescent bulb lighting the end of a narrow, dark hallway. Presumably, the decrepit wooden doors would have opened up into some sort of warehousey-loft areas, but it was all too easy to imagine a crack den and/or finding the evidence necessary to solve San Jose’s unsolved murders from 1992–present. And all at the low low price of $1.50/SF!
We had better luck downtown, where one building (which we nearly settled into two years ago) featured two plausible office suites, and a second building, located just two blocks from Adobe and a block from The Tech, was really promising. I’ll be taking family and staffers on a field trip there (hopefully tomorrow) to see what they think, but I could definitely see that one working out. We’ll see…