Corporations Aim to Merge Creative Space with Newest Startup Acquisitions

PMI has edgy creative buildings with a lot of startups as tenants.  These startups are attracted to PMI’s creative spaces in smaller buildings.  We emphasize great architecture and build communities for the tenants to interact with each other.  Many of our tenants over the years have been acquired as a method of their exit:  Applied Semantics, AZ Razorfish, Guardian Edge, Apture, Playdom, Techcrunch, and Doubleclick to name a few.

Once these firms are acquired, the corporations want the firm to integrate into the ‘mothership’.  They will either wait for the new acquisition’s lease to expire, try to sublease the space, or offer a buyout option.  These large corporations have facility managers who also demand a different set of services.  They want a state of the art security service and will sacrifice the edgy aesthetics to achieve it.  Sometimes the acquired company fights for their independence within the corporate structure.  These companies want to keep an identity and culture separate from the acquirer.  Zappos is a classic case of such a company.  They stayed true to their culture when they were acquired by Amazon.  In fact, Amazon actually strongly encouraged Zappos to stay true to their roots– it was part of what made them so unique and special in today’s Internet marketplace.

Another example is that in PMI’s buildings, Techcrunch renewed their lease versus moving into an AOL facility.  Keeping their old digs was one way for Techcrunch to retain their independence from AOL and maintain a separate culture at the same time.

Overall, corporations keep their goal of wanting to move the new startup acquisition to a space that falls more in line with the main, home office of the corporation.  This occurs at the same time as having the startup stay true to their founding identity and what made them so attractive to acquire in the first place.  A balance between the two needs to be maintained and sometimes it is a fine line to reach.

Designing Offices for Digital Technology Companies

We rent office space on the Westside of Los Angeles and in San Francisco to digital technology companies.  Our tenants include or have included Twitter, Google, DoubleClick, Yammer, Scribd, Applied Semantics, Microsoft, and Eventbrite.  Much has changed from the dot-com days.  Today, the three factors that are important for the design of these spaces are creative environments, densification, and collaboration.  Spaces are open to allow for the ability to scale to densities of up to 10 people per 1000 square feet.  Although the company may start out at 4 people per 1000 square feet, the ability to scale within the space will enable to firm to expand without taking on additional space and without moving.  To allow this densification, the space should have good light, open areas, and a lot of power and outlets.  Higher ceiling volumes with open structural elements help reduce the feeling of being cramped into a tight area.  Although liner table arrangements are the most efficient, undulating plans have also worked and reduce monotony.

Diagram from the dot-com days.

Creatively remodeled office space.

In the dot-com days, designers used circular and angle offices to create visual interest.  Today, these designs reduce the efficiency of the floor plan.  Designers now use the natural beauty of the physical structure, colors, textures, and lighting to create visual interest.

Large, high partition work stations have given way to interconnected non-partitioned tables where groups of designers sit together in close proximity.  Email, texts, and social networking have replaced audio phone use and hence eliminated the need for partitions.  Enclosed spaces are used primarily for conferences, group meetings, and other collaborations.  These enclosed meeting spaces average about 1 per 1000 square feet.

Yammer Collarboration Area at PMI's 410 Townsend in San Francisco.

Collaboration spaces have become more important in offices today.  People are used to collaborating in cafés; now designers are incorporating the “café look” into the office design.  Today workers come from the Starbucks generation where coffee houses are iconic symbols of collaborative settings.

Kitchens have expanded into highly designed café settings in very visible locations.

Kitchen at PMI's 3525 Eastham in Culver City.

Kitchen at TechCrunch at PMI's 410 Townsend in San Francisco.

This is a refreshing contrast to the kitchens of the past, relegated to a hidden enclosed corner with vinyl floors and fluorescent lights.  Several companies, some as small as 40 people, have dining areas that can fit much of the company’s employees.  They also require company lunches several times a month or even a couple times a week.  Other examples of collaborative settings could involve a game room or juice lounge.   Instead of just one kitchen, there may even be multiple areas with sinks, refrigerators, and snacks.  This gives a modern spin to the popular water cooler meeting spot that all offices seem to share.

All in all, there are many designs and combinations that can be created for all the different types of tenants we house.  For PMI, we strive to meet all of our tenant’s requests and see to it that creativity continues to flourish among our properties and tenants.  Scroll down to see more examples of the creative space we have produced for our outstanding tenants!

Kitchen at Mitch Kapor's offices at 543 Howard in San Francisco.

Mahalo's Kitchen at PMI's 3523 Eastham in Culver City.

Eventbrite's former space at PMI's 410 Townsend in San Francisco.

Afar Media at PMI's 394 Pacific in San Francisco.

Past and Present PMI Tenants– Join the Ranks of the Best

Ever since it’s inception, PMI Properties has been home to many up and coming creative companies.  From video games and film to advertising and software designers, we’ve had the pleasure of housing all types of creative companies.   A social networking company exploded into society’s consciousness from our offices. They now have over 300 million users and changed the way we communicate in 140 characters or less online.  They also reinvented the meaning to the word, “tweet.”  That company is none other than Twitter.  Applied Semantics, producer of software applications for the online advertising, domain name, and enterprise information management markets, invented AdSense in a PMI Property office space.  AdSense has since been acquired by Google, and is now responsible for over 25% of their revenue.

It’s been said that our Properties Motivate Innovation.

A few more you may have heard of include Columbia Pictures, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Project Greenlight, HBO Entertainment, Google, Wes Craven, Summit Entertainment, Sony Electronics and Ubisoft.

To gain a larger sense of our scope and variety of amazing tenants, check out our complete list of past and present PMI tenants below.

Entertainment

  • Bruce Lee Enterprises
  • Concrete Pictures
  • Franklin and Waterman (Film)
  • Imperial Entertainment
  • Infinite Monkey Entertainment
  • Nalin (Film)
  • Public Interest Films (Film Production)
  • Sony Pictures
  • Strand Releasing (Movie Distribution)
  • Trimark Films (Film/Merged with Lionsgate)
  • David Koz (Musician)
  • Domo Records (Music Publishing)
  • John Erhlich (Music Editing)
  • Music Choice (Internet Music)
  • Rick Knowles (Music Production)
  • Tonos (Music Website/Carol Bayer Sager)
  • Varese Sarabande (Music Publishing)
  • Vibe (Music Publishing)
  • Fox Entertainment
  • Gurin Company (Television Production)
  • Millionaires Club (Television)
  • Mixed Signals (Interactive Television)
  • Termite Art (Television Production)

Production 

  • Tangerine Entertainment (Commercial Production)
  • Halon Entertainment (Pre Production)
  • Animal Logic (Post Production)
  • At The Post (Post Production)
  • Goodspot (Post Production)
  • Jack Fx (Post Production)
  • King and Country (Post Production)
  • Liquid (Post Production)
  • Moxie Pictures (Post Production)
  • Propeller (Post Production)
  • Radium (Post Production)
  • Rex Edit (Post Production)
  • Safehouse (Post Production)
  • Sol Design (Post Production)
  • Superior Assembly (Post Production)
  • On Line Off Line (Video Production)

Software

  • Applied Semantics
  • Apture (Web Software)
  • Codehost (Software)
  • Coding Technologies (Software)
  • Double Click (Web Advertising Software)
  • Epoch-Paycom (Digital Payment Web Software)
  • Guardian Edge (Web Software)
  • Ingrooves (Web Music Software)
  • Insync (Web Music Software)
  • IOTA (Web Music Software)
  • Jaspersoft (Software)
  • Limelight (Software)
  • Opendns (Software)
  • Outlook
  • Playdom (Software)
  • Radar (Web Software)
  • Retix (Software)
  • Supersig (Web Software)
  • The Brain (Software)
  • Xobni (Web Software)
  • Yammer (Saas Collaborative Software)
  • Yola (Web Software)
  • Zendesk (Web Software)

Advertising

  • Bright Design
  • Bush Communications
  • Click Media (Digital Advertising)
  • DCA
  • Deep Focus
  • Domozog
  • Expert Communications
  • Grange Advertising
  • Ideology
  • McElroy
  • Murphy Obrien
  • Point Blank
  • PR 21
  • Rocket Studios
  • Spelling Communications
  • Woo Advertising

Video Gaming

  • Outspark
  • Playdom
  • Six Degree Games
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Sulake
  • Ubisoft
  • Workshop Entertainment

Digital Marketing & Publishing

  • AZ Razorfish (Digital Marketing)
  • Carbon Five (Digital Marketing)
  • Maholo (Digital Publishing)
  • Scribd (Digital Publishing)
  • Techcrunch (Digital Publishing)
  • Threshold (Digital Marketing)

Web

  • Eventbrite (Web Ticket Sales)
  • Google (First LA Offices/AdSense)
  • Motoreyes (Website)
  • Top Tutor/Idealabs (Education Website)
  • http://www.com (Website)

Miscellaneous

  • Dunket–Shaquille O’Neal (eCommerce)
  • Savings.com (eCommerce)
  • Sony Electronics (Electronic Consumer Hardware)
  • Diamond Multimedia/Rioport (Electronic Hardware)
  • NatureEner (Green Technology)