Cryptocurrency firm agrees to move to downtown San Jose office tower

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. in downtown San Jose, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the real estate transaction.

The cryptocurrency company confirmed its downtown San Jose lease agreement.

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 downtown San Jose, 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 the building’s current owner, a group led by John Barrett, a private real estate investor who heads up Burlingame-based Barrett Block Partners.

The 15-story tower’s value appears to be rising steadily. In 2020, Barrett’s group 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. The company has begun to move into its new offices.

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

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