SF Business Times: San Leandro tech and arts hub tries to recreate SoMa under one roof
The San Francisco Business Times just released a story about the transition of one of San Leandro’s oldest tech manufacturing centers into one of its newest tech manufacturing centers. Click here for the story: “San Leandro tech and arts hub tries to recreate SoMa under one roof”.
The 2nd floor of the former Dodge/Chrysler Auto plant located at 1933 Davis Street, known by most in the East Bay as the West Gate Shopping Center, is rapidly becoming a Center for Next Generation Manufacturing Technologies. The article identifies a diversity of companies now located there, including Verbena, Destination Dinners, OmNom (which many of you remember from our Welcome to the New San Leandro video!), and Open Sesame.
The article did not name some other notable companies: All Ways Sewing, a company that sews for North Face and other notable clothing designers; PhaseSpace, a company whose motion capture camera system is challenging the way traditional movies are made; Type A Machines, a 3D destop printing manufacturing company that recently moved to The Gate from San Francisco. Type A Machines’ CEO, Espen Sivertsen, is working to co-locate other startups and businesses that want to build their businesses in collaboration with the 3D printer technology supported by Type A Machines. San Leandro-based Soundfit, whose product is a 3D scanner called the SugarCube, will be the first to co-locate in the Type A space; at least five additional tech companies are planning to re-locate, and three others are in discussion.
The West Gate Center owner, ScanlonKemperBard Companies, understands the critical importance of building community in this space. David Holley, the building manager, and architects Brick LLP have been working with City Planning and the County Fire Department to blow out an 8,000 s.f. space in the center of the building to build The Cupola, a meetup space centered under a huge skylight previously broken up by a number of smaller spaces. Restored to its former beauty, the naturally lit space will feature comfortable meeting areas, a kitchen and three new conference rooms for use by the tenants. A comfortable space for meetups, the building owners are giving tenant artists the ability to design and decorate the space as well!
Most recently, a group of artists representing the Bee Charge camp at Burning Man moved their Bee car into The Gate. The mingling of tech and art is a fun and essential element of creating the tech and innovation ecosystem at the Center!