The Gate: Creating The Ideal Workplace for a Thriving, Creative-Commercial Community in the East Bay
Why did the February 14, 2014 announcement of the opening of The Gate— San Leandro’s 24-acre former Plymouth plant now being transformed into a unique art, tech, and maker hub—get picked up by 149 press outlets and garner 30 million impressions across the country—three times more than the typical press release?
Because The Gate 510 epitomizes the way today’s growing creative-commerce class wants to work. These artists, technologists, and makers are searching for a place that make their new ways of working possible beyond today’s cramped San Francisco real estate epicenter, where companies are seeded and grown, but cannot survive once success requires increasingly more space.
The right location, with room to grow
The Gate offers exactly what these 21st century movers and shakers need, with unique Bay Area spaces from 1,000-10,000 square feet—factory-raw, office- finished, and build-to-suit—and building amenities that include ultra-fast fiber cable throughout as well as just the right mix of private and collaborative space.
Plus, The Gate is ideally situated, close to Oakland International Airport and the 880 freeway for easy access to Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Located on the flip side of San Leandro’s West Gate Center, already anchored by a Home Depot and Office Depot, The Gate also provides tenants with cost-effective, steps-away accessibility to the tools of their varied trades.
What Steve Jobs knew: the importance of building a collaborative building
Steve Jobs built the world’s most valuable company in part through his laser- focus on the design of his companies’ buildings. Having designed-in collaboration-enhancing atria at Apple headquarters, he famously went on to similarly redesign the Pixar offices, explaining, as quoted in Walter Isaacson’s biography, “If a building doesn’t encourage [collaboration], you’ll lose a lot of innovation and the magic that’s sparked by serendipity. So we designed the building to make people get out of their offices and mingle in the central atrium with people they might not otherwise see.”
Brad Bird, director of Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille, said, “The atrium initially might seem like a waste of space…But Steve realized that when people run into each other, they make eye contact, things happen.” And John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer, stated, “I’ve never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one.”
The Central Square: central to building-in collaboration at The Gate
Duly noting that, as Steve Jobs has amply demonstrated, a building that encourages creative collaboration helps build success, the City of San Leandro Planning Services has approved the Central Square at The Gate.
Demolition of 10 currently creativity-cramping suites is ready to begin. The area of the building that will comprise the Central Square is ideally located beneath the 50-foot skylight, bringing in the light of new ideas that can more quickly become real as a result of real-time, face-to-face interactions. A shared kitchen— a hallmark and hub of activity at thriving tech companies in Silicon Valley—is also planned, as are meeting areas, movable art, and, of course, plenty of electrical outlets for everyone to plug-in and capture new ideas as they happen.
Giving Back to The Community
For SKB, and many SKB commercial partners, giving back to the community is a core value and essential to successful compliance. For the Bay Area, in fact, for California, a transformative, light-filled space, the Central Square planned at The Gate is key to creating the kind of collaborative environment so essential to building a thriving and successful creative-commercial community. The opportunity to give back to the community, build a fully functional space for companies to grow, and garner highly positive, publicly visible outcomes for SKB & commercial partners, makes the Central Square at The Gate a triple win for all.