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Cryptocurrency firm agrees to move to downtown San Jose office tower


Cryptocurrency firm agrees to move to downtown San Jose office tower
Okcoin company deal provides economic boost to downtown San Jose office market

SAN JOSE — A cryptocurrency company has leased a big chunk of space in a downtown San Jose tower, an agreement that bolsters the commercial real estate market in the city’s urban core.

Okcoin, which has an operation in San Francisco, has leased 35,000 square feet in an office tower at 160 W. Santa Clara St., according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the real estate transaction.

The cryptocurrency company confirmed its leasing deal in downtown San Jose.

The deal helps bolster the wobbly and vacancy-plagued office market in downtown San Jose.

Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate brokers Brandon Bain, Jeff Cushman and Alex Lagemann and brokers from Savills, a real estate firm, helped to arrange the lease.

“It’s good to get a fresh office tenant to move into downtown San Jose,” said Mark Ritchie, president of Ritchie Commercial, a real estate firm.

A lease of this size could enable Okcoin to shift about 175 workers into the area, based on typical space requirements for this type of office space.

“The downtown San Jose office market is poised for a comeback,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use consultancy. “The improvement in the market is real and it is sustainable.”

The lease is a big win for Century | Urban, a San Francisco-based real estate investment that manages the tower on behalf of the building’s owner Burlingame-based Barrett Block Properties.

The 15-story tower’s value appears to be rising steadily. In 2020, Century | Urban paid $131.8 million for the highrise, Santa Clara County records show. The tower was bought for $101.5 million in 2018 and for $81 million in 2014.

Okcoin leased space on two floors of the building, which totals 229,000 square feet.

“This is a significant office lease for downtown San Jose,” Ritchie said. “Hopefully it’s the first of many.”

The cryptocurrency company has begun to move into its new offices, sources said.

“This is great to see,” said Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association. “What downtown San Jose needs more than anything is people, especially people back in the offices.”

Signs have emerged of a more robust downtown scene on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, according to an assessment by Dan Phan, an entrepreneur who co-owns Original Gravity Public House, Paper Plane and Miniboss, three popular downtown San Jose establishments.

“Our weekend business has returned almost to the pre-COVID levels,” Phan said. “Weekday business still has some catching up to do.”

Phan and his partners Johnny Wang and George Lahlouh are bullish enough on downtown San Jose that they intend to add a fourth location, a restaurant at 201 S. Second St. as part of a mixed-use development called Paseo where movie theaters used to operate.

“We need to have it all, restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, hotels, the convention business, everything has to come back for downtown San Jose to be firing on all cylinders again,” Knies said.

Full article by George Avalos: https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/26/cryptocurrency-okcoin-lease-downtown-san-jose-office